Johannesburg – More women have come out to share their stories of alleged abuse and rape at the hands of a prominent celebrity.
The celebrity is not being named as criminal charges have not been opened against him as yet.
Since actress and businesswoman Amanda Du Pont recorded a tearful video on Thursday detailing the alleged abuse she endured while she was romantically linked to the celebrity, others have also come forward.
On Friday, Masechaba Khumalo, radio personality and spokesperson for the Sports, Arts and Culture Ministry stood in solidarity with Du Pont and claimed that she too had been a victim of the celebrity in Naturena, Johannesburg when she was still a virgin.
“I felt Amanda’s tears. Watching her video gave me goosebumps because our stories are very similar, almost identical. I didn’t know if I was going to say anything but I felt compelled to say something because it’s not about me, it's about all of us,” she said.
“It was a difficult decision but I decided I that I was going to do it whether people believed me or not, whether I would receive criticism for only coming out all these years later. I was planning to go to the grave with this and I realised that I can’t, it has to stop and it has to stop with us,” she said.
Du Pont’s video was a response to the celebrity’s interview Podcast which aired on Wednesday. During his interview he alleged that he had “smashed” Du Pont and that their relationship ended because she found out he was cheating on her.
Du Pont refuted these statements, saying she had been continuously raped throughout the two years they were together, and that out of fear she stayed in the abusive relationship.
Although support for Khumalo and Du Pont has been pouring in from survivors and other celebrities who condemn the allegations, Khumalo said she was nervous about her position in the government, whether she would be putting her department in disrepute.
“Knowing that my principal, Minister Nathi Mthethwa is a staunch feminist, an advocate for the protection of women, children and people, I somehow knew that I can’t hold back because I am afraid of bringing all this unwanted attention to myself, my family, my children and colleagues.
“This has affected me for a very long time. I didn’t have any sexual encounter with any man for years after the rape because I thought that was sex. I thought that was normal and I didn’t want anything to do with it. I have done a lot of work on myself through my conversations. I have thrown myself into activism, helping young girls, women and men to deal with abuse, violence and generational curses and that was a healing process for me,” she said.
Supporters and fans of the celebrity have been questioning her timing and wanting to know why it had taken years for Khumalo to talk about her alleged ordeal. She explained that the shame of abuse paralyses victims, and that she was young when it happened but was no longer afraid of the celebrity.
“This is the one secret I have kept my whole life that I thought I would never tell. I am proud of Amanda for being brave enough to come out. I hope that every other woman not only involved in this particular case, but every other woman, man or boy who has been violated in any way in any shape or form, will too, find their voice and be brave enough to come out. When we are liberated, we give others the power to liberate themselves,” she said.
Nonzwakazi Cekete, spokesperson for the broadcast station, where the celebrity is a presenter, said the channel had suspended him in light of the allegations, as they did not condone gender-based violence in any way and under any circumstances.
The celebrity did not comment at the time of going to print.