South African rapper/producer Okmalumkoolkat speaks publicly for the first time since his arrest over sexual misconduct in Tasmania.
Brian Simiso Zwane, better known as the South African rapper and producer Okmalumkoolkat, was arrested and jailed in January in Hobart, Tasmania for sexual misconduct against another artist who was asleep in her hotel room.
According to Okmalumkoolkat’s PR, Stamp Communications, the artist is back in South Africa after serving his one month sentence in Tasmania. “He is in good health and ready to address his fans,” the PR company writes.
Today, Okmalumkoolkat spoke publicly for the first time since his arrest. A statement issued by Stamp Communications and appearing on the rapper’s Facebook and Instagram pages reads:
I am writing this letter to my fans as Simiso Zwane, not as Okmalumkoolkat. I say this because it was Simiso Zwane who was out there in that Tasmanian prison.
Now I know there has been speculation and misconception about my case. I was charged with assault with intent of indecency and assault with intent. I fully understand the magnitude of this issue. I have had time by myself to reflect on things most important to me and I am working through everything. I have served my time in jail in another continent and have endured hardships of the sentence that was handed to me. I would like to move on with my life.
I am sincerely sorry to everybody that has been affected by this. I pleaded guilty for a number of reasons, one of which was that I was in a foreign country and was advised by my legal aid to do so. I hope the public and my fans will accept that I will one day, in my own way, explain the events as they happened from my perspective.
This hasn’t just affected Okmalumkoolkat, but it has affected Simiso Zwane, my whole family, my friends and my team who have realised the fact that I am also human. I would like to thank everybody that stood by me and who has been really supportive. I sincerely appreciate that.
Lastly, I would like to ask the media and all those who have opinions on this issue to respect my privacy and the privacy of my family and friends. I ask everybody to understand that I need time to process, heal and move on with my life and career in the best possible way.
A photo posted by 100kMacassette Mixtape Link ?? (@okmalumkoolkat) on
Zwane was in Hobart, Tasmania, to perform at the city’s MONA FOMA music festival in January. According to The Mercury (Hobart), where the story first broke:
The court heard after the show he went out drinking with friends. He returned to his hotel about 5.30am but was drunk and unable to find his way into the Old Woolstore, the court heard.
Crown prosecutor Rebecca Lancaster said he entered the victim’s hotel room through an external sliding door that she had inadvertently left ajar.
The victim woke to find Zwane, a complete stranger, in her bed kissing her neck and rubbing his hands over her private parts. He then told her “don’t make any noise”, Ms Lancaster said. Zwane stopped after the victim, who can’t be identified, told him to leave and had to show him the way out.
“This must have been extremely frightening,” Ms Lancaster said. “This is a huge violation … in an environment where she ought to have felt secure and safe.”
She said the fact the victim was asleep was an aggravating factor because not only could she not consent, she could not physically repel him.
Lawyer Steven Chopping said Zwane was “remorseful, ashamed and embarrassed” by the crime and had been jet-lagged, intoxicated and confused at the time. When Zwane got to the hotel he had become separated from his companions and couldn’t get into the building, he said. He entered the victim’s room in a bid to access the rest of the accommodation not sexually abuse her.