Penny Lebyane joins Ntsiki Mazwai to take on DJ Fresh in court battle
Johannesburg - “I have gone the legal route because I want to see it through, and I want to see justice being served.”
This was the bold assertion made by veteran radio and TV personality Penny Lebyane, who successfully filed a joinder application to be the second respondent (or accused) in an interdict case opened by renowned DJ Fresh against celebrated poet, Ntsiki Mazwai.
The Sunday World reported last month that Fresh, real name Thato Sikwane, who hosts the popular drive-time show on Gauteng’s 94.7, filed a suit against Mazwai following the poet’s social media posts that the DJ was an alleged rapist.
Mazwai’s posts followed allegations made by Lebyane that she had been abused by a former lover, who Mazwai concluded had been DJ Fresh.
Fresh, in court papers quoted by the Sunday World, cited Lebyane and accused her of violence.
“I broke up with her (Lebyane) because our relationship was toxic and a restraining order was obtained against her after she attempted to force friends of mine off the road,” Fresh was quoted as saying.
However, on Wednesday, Lebyane told The Star that Fresh “had no proof of the claims” he made against her in the Sunday World.
She said her legal team had unsuccessfully tried to get him to provide the evidence, and that she had now resorted to the legal route to force the DJ to reveal information about the contentions he made.
“I have gone the legal route because I want to see it through, and I want to see justice being served. There is nothing wrong with my power; my power is there and it is visible,” Lebyane asserted.
“My hands are tied because I need to get answers for myself. Unfortunately, because I was not a respondent to the original application, the only legal way to get answers for myself was to do a joinder application.
“I’m cited in his court documents and I tried getting answers directly from him, but there haven’t been any responses,” Lebyane said.
She said since the publication of the Sunday World article a few weeks ago, the period had been traumatic for her. She said this reignited the pain she said she dealt with over the last 19 years following her relationship with Fresh.
“The last few weeks have been very traumatic with the Sunday World article and since the early 2000s.
“I had no ability to defend myself – I was brandished across newspapers weekend in, weekend out. I was humiliated by YFM DJs on a daily basis, and I could not do anything about it,” Lebyane explained.
“I was marginalised at Metro FM where I used to work because I had no right to reply on Metro if I was being discussed on YFM, including what was said about me in newspapers – I couldn’t do anything about it,” she charged.
Speaking to The Star after his afternoon drive show on Wednesday, Fresh said: “There is a gag order in place in respect of the main application, which precludes the contents thereof from being disclosed.
“My attorneys have received Ms Lebyane's application to join the proceedings, which remains pending, and (we) are dealing with it.”
Fresh added: “There's no basis for the joinder application which has been communicated to Ms Lebyane’s attorneys. To the extent that she persists, the matter will be dealt with in court.”
Lebyane said her work on the show Let’s Talk Papgeld, which is a show mainly about deadbeat fathers who renege on maintaining their children, as well as Kukithi La (This is my Home), which delves into people’s struggles to reclaim their place in family homes, enabled to understand the legal system.
“I feel like I need to test the legal system as well in this case; you know, how does it protect me as a woman in a situation like this?
“So, I am committed to going through the process because we wrote the letters… but this is the only way we can get answers, in front of a judge.”