Top DJs Fresh and Euphonik part ways with 947
TWO of South Africa’s popular and powerful radio DJs – Fresh and Euphonik – have parted ways with their employer, a few weeks after a woman laid rape charges against them.
Their employer, Primedia Broadcasting, owner of 947, the radio station where the pair was employed, has announced that the decision to separate with DJ Fresh – real name Thato Sikwane – and DJ Euphonik – real name Themba Nkosi – was taken in the interest of business.
In a statement, Geraint Crwys-Williams, the interim chief executive of Primedia Broadcasting, was careful to say that the decision to part ways with the duo was not a reflection on the veracity of any allegations against the DJs.
“We believe that this decision is in the best interest of our company and our various stakeholders,” Crwys-Williams said.
In a joint statement, Fresh and Euphonik said they parted ways with Primedia after failing to find common ground. They said: “After extensive consultation, legal and otherwise , we have concluded that it is in our interests to resume all our public engagements. We look forward to clearing our names.”
Over three weeks ago, Fresh and Euphonik were pulled off air after a woman, who first made the allegations on social media, laid charges with the police. Primedia announced then that the decision to remove the pair was mutual.
At the time, Crwys-Wiliams said: “947 and Prime Media have engaged with DJ Fresh and Euphonik regarding the alleged sexual assault charges levelled against them. We take these matters seriously and apply a rigorous, systematic internal process to assess them.”
The case draws from accusations made on January 11 by a woman on the social media platform Twitter. The woman publicly accused and named the two veteran entertainers of drugging and forcing themselves on her and three other women back in 2011.
The woman tweeted that she released the information surrounding the incident because she had wanted the two DJs to acknowledge the alleged rape incident, after explaining the traumatising incident and the treatment she needed afterwards.
DJ Fresh has strongly denied the allegations. This was his reaction: “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,” said Fresh.
“Furthermore, I am deeply concerned that spurious allegations about GBV ,especially as it is one of the most significant societal challenges in South Africa, undermine the gravity of legitimate incidents, and impact the urgency with which they are attended.
“Each time someone succumbs to the temptation of using GBV to further personal agendas, the cause to eradicate this scourge takes a step backwards.
“Please, should you have a substantiated concern or be the victim of a genuine case of GBV, I urge you to immediately go to your local police station and lay a charge.
“Pursuing the matter through a legal and criminal process is the best way to ensure that you get the protection you need.”
This is not the first time that the two radio jockeys were embroiled in gender-based violence accusations.
Last year, television presenter Penny Lebyane made rape allegations on social media, alleging that Sikwane had assaulted her during their relationship.
Lebyane took the matter to court after the radio jockey denied the allegations, in an effort to have Sikwane face the music. “I have gone the legal route because I want to see it through, and I want to see justice being served”, Lebyane told Eyewitness News.
In 2012, Euphonik (real name Thembi Nkosi) was accused of physically assaulting his then-girlfriend, award-winning media personality and businesswoman Bonang Matheba in her autobiography, which the DJ repeatedly denied through a series of tweets much to the South African public’s ire.
Various supporters and popular profiles on Twitter have voiced their support for the victim, as well as criticised her for only speaking up years after the incident occurred.
Names including popular poet Lebo Mashile tweeted, “I believe you Sisi. These two have been named in far too many stories of abuse. It’s consistent,
“I am so sorry that this is what you went through. No one deserves it. Thank hon for validating others who may be too scared to come forward right now”.
Euphonik has not commented on the accusations or on the case filed.