The assault video, which went viral almost immediately, brought to the fore, once again, the issue of domestic violence – or violence against women, if you like – in South Africa. The reason is simple: Mampintsha is a celebrated name in South African music.
The video surprised many in that Babes Wodumo had actually said in the past, just after her controversial “interview” with Metro FM’s DJ Mo Flava and Masechaba Ndlovu, that he never assaulted her.
She had even gone ahead to demand an apology from her hosts back then. It never came, of course.
And now we have the alarming video of one she said never assaulted her literally pummelling her on camera. What, exactly, was going on in the relationship at the time Babes Wodumo publicly denied Mampintsha was abusing her? Was she facetiously courting controversy or publicity, especially the Metro FM “interview”?
Or had Mampintsha spilled his soul at her feet, begging her to change her mind about going public with the assault on her person? Why did Babes Wodumo record the assault on her this time and even share same? Has Mampintsha turned her into a human dummy on which to test his fists, and now, fed up with it all, she had snapped?
We may not know at this point, especially since Mampintsha has been released on R20,000 bail after turning himself in to the police and after an appearance at the Pinetown Magistrate Court in Durban on Wednesday 16 March, and with formal hearing of his case set for May, two months from now.
Condemnations for Mampintsha’s action have poured in across Africa, not only in South Africa. Somehow, Mampintsha has apparently added a twist to the assault allegation by saying Babes Wodumo assaulted him first, and he was only trying to defend himself.
“Babes arrived and she assaulted me. In my defence I hit her back. I made a mistake but no-one can accept to be attacked while asleep in bed. I’m sorry for my actions. I ask for forgiveness for raising my hand against her,” he had said after his court appearance.
Abuse of women – be it rape or just raising of an aggressive fist at them – is prevalent in South Africa. It is a scourge of the Rainbow Nation at the moment. Somehow, expectedly, it is only the abuse of celebrities that usually makes it to mainstream media.
In the entertainment industry, artistes like Kelly Khumalo and Gigi Lamayne openly admit having tangled histories of abuse in their relationships. In the instance of Gigi Lamayne, she had reconciled with her alleged abuser, DJ Citi Lyts.
Making peace with someone who has abused you may be okay, but it is never advisable to remain in the relationship, for the chances of the person abusing you again are patently high. Leave and begin a new life. And, most importantly, report the case of abuse to the authorities and seek therapy and emotional support.
If the law should eventually deal decisively with Mampintsha, there is a chance it would serve as a deterrent to others, not so celebrated – or celebrated not at all – who might wish to raise their hands against women.
Saying “I am sorry” may be fine. But the letters of the law must be implemented.