Photo by Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Sjava during the DStv Mzansi Viewer's Choice Awards (DStvMVCA) event at the Sandton Convention Centre on November 24, 2018 in Sandton, South Africa.

South African Prosecuting Authority Drops Sjava Rape Case

South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority has reportedly withdrawn Sjava's rape case due to lack of evidence. Lady Zamar's allegations against the singer will no longer receive a trial.

According to Sowetan Live, South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has decided to withdraw the rape case against hip-hop artist, Sjava. This comes after a year-long investigation which began when house musician, Lady Zamar, first opened the rape case against Sjava in 2019. The South African Police Services (SAPS) escalated the case to the NPA last year in order for them to decide on whether the case should be prosecuted. Limpopo police spokesperson, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, confirmed to the media that Sjava's rape case has been declined for prosecution. Lady Zamar has been facing backlash on social media following the recent outcome of her case.

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NPA spokesperson, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, stated that, "The state declined to prosecute the case because it believed the facts or evidence do not support a successful prosecution."

Both Lady Zamar and Sjava had reportedly been secretly dating for two years. However, Lady Zamar then alleged that Sjava had raped her back in 2017, just five months after they had initially met.

Lady Zamar officially reported the incident to a local police station in October of last year and a case was subsequently opened. When the news broke out, the public took both artists through gruelling trials on different social media platforms. Sjava continuously maintained his innocence especially as he increasingly lost out on singing and acting gigs. Conversely, Lady Zamar was painted out as the "disgruntled girlfriend" after Sjava revealed during a live concert that he was actually married.

This case highlights the continued rape culture which is embedded in the music industry. Nigerian artist Dbanj's rape case was dropped by Nigerian police earlier this year after a "family intervention" was held between the alleged victim, Seyitan Babatayo, and the artist's own family.

Head of Universal Music Group South Africa, Shouneez Adams, under which Lady Zamar is currently signed, said that she was not aware that charges had been withdrawn against Sjava. There has not been an official response from Lady Zamar or Sjava concerning the NPA's decision.

Twitter has been polarised with people offering their views on the tenuous matter.


A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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