Johannesburg - Popular radio presenters and DJs Euphonik (Themba Mbongeni Nkosi) and Fresh (Thato Sikwane) have taken a step away from public work engagements following rape allegations that were levelled against them.
Primedia Broadcasting, the owners of the radio station announced in a statement on Saturday that they had reached a mutual decision with the DJs for them to step down in order to focus on addressing the matter.
“947 and Primedia Broadcasting have engaged with DJ Fresh (Thato Sikwane) and Euphonik (Themba Nkosi) regarding the alleged sexual assault charges levelled against them… Primedia Broadcasting, DJ Fresh and Euphonik have reached a mutual decision for both DJs to come off air in order to focus on addressing this matter,” said Geraint Crwys-Williams, acting chief executive of Primedia Broadcasting.
Crwys-Williams added that the media company took sexual assault and gender-based violence matters “extremely seriously and applied a rigorous, systematic internal process to assess them.
The decision for Sikwane and Nkosi to come off air comes after a woman, who goes by the Twitter handle @Nampree, publicly accused the two radio personalities of allegedly drugging and raping her and three other women in 2011 on Twitter.
“@DJFreshSA and @euphonik will you ever acknowledge drunking me and further raping me? I was completed drugged I don’t (know) whether you BOTH raped me or 1 of you did and you later laughed about it the next morning saying we (me and 3 girls) were so drunk we kept blacking out but nasidlwengula [you raped us],” the woman wrote.
She added that she was a virgin at the time of the alleged sexual assault and had to take anxiety medication before she could speak about the incident on social media.
After the woman’s tweets made waves and trended, Sikwane issued an official statement denying the allegations, calling them hurtful.
“I am aware that assertions have been made about me on social media and I understand that this is often the price of being in the public eye. The fact that these claims are untrue and from an unknown source, does not make them less hurtful,” he said.
On Friday, Gauteng police confirmed that formal rape cases had been opened against the two music giants at Sunnyside police station on January 13 by the women who levelled the allegations against the two men.
After the news of the radio giants’ departure from 947, Sikwane and Nkosi released a joint statement on their social media pages.
“In light of the serious allegations levelled against us we’ve decided to step away from all public work engagements until such time that this matter has been resolved and the law has taken its course,” the statement said.
This is not the first time that rape allegations have been level against Sikwane. Last year during the social media campaign to name and shame perpetrators of sexual assault, the ‘Big Dawg’ was mentioned as a perpetrator on social media.
Following the allegations, activist and poet Ntsiki Mazwai called Sikwane a rapist on social media.
“I’m on Facebook and there is a thread exposing celebrity rapists … I’m posting all. I’m starting with the allegation against DJ Fresh because famous men abuse their power,” she wrote.
In July, the Gauteng High Court, Joburg, ruled in Sikwane’s favour and ordered Mazwai to refrain from making any further statements regarding the media personality.