South African rapper Sjava on stage in a puff of smoke.

Sjava has been accused of sexual assault by former girlfriend Lady Zamar.

Photo: Sabelo Mkabela

The SABC Will Carry on Playing Sjava’s Music Amid Rape Case

The national broadcaster will let the law take its course.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the country's national TV and radio broadcaster, will not stop playing Sjava's music until he is proven guilty by the court.

A rape case against the popular musician was opened by his ex-girlfriend, fellow artistLady Zamar two weeks ago. Sjava has since been dropped from the lineup of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival which was due to perform in this March in the Mother City. The DStv Mzansi Viewers' Choice Awards also removed the Sjava from its list of nominees. A few other organizations followed suit.

Not the SABC.

"The SABC respects the rule of law and believes that any allegations levelled against anyone should follow the due process of the law," acting SABC spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo recently told The Sowetan newspaper. "Thus at this stage, it is premature for the SABC to take any decision regarding broadcasting Sjava's music."

Sjava hasn't said much since the news broke when Lady Zamar detailed being abused in a thread on Twitter in October 2019. Sjava denied the allegations in a statement.

"I did not rape her [Lady Zamar]," wrote Sjava. "People are saying that I made empty threats to take her to court after her allegations last year. Ngithe mina [I said] last year I would follow legal processes to protect myself. This was not a threat. It's something that anyone would do to protect themselves if they are accused of doing something that is not true."

The Sowetan further reports that Sjava's music hasn't taken a huge dive since the case was opened. According to Radio Monitor, the official standard that captures airplay data and analysis in over 170 radio stations and 25 TV channels in South Africa, Sjava's latest single "Linda" was played 36 times across 19 stations, while "Flight School" by K.O, which features Sjava, has been played 99 times across 38 stations.