DJ EUPHONIK: BONANG LIED ABOUT THE ABUSE! In light of the recent media storm surrounding my inclusion in the Marie Claire In Her Shoes campaign, I have decided to share my story and reasons behind my decision to participate in answer to the question as to whether I am the right choice for a campaign like this. Many questioned my inclusion due to the alleged abuse of my ex girlfriend in 2012.
Firstly, I’d like to give a big thank you to the entire Marie Claire team for allowing me to participate in what I think is a great initiative. I knew from the get-go that there would be public scrutiny and controversy about my involvement taking into consideration the allegations made against me. I believe that abuse against women or abuse of any sort is a great injustice, travesty and a serious problem in our country. I stand firm against it with my head held high despite all the criticism as I do believe there is no place for it in our society. I am a public figure and whether I choose to be or not I am a role model and that on its own comes with great responsibility. I also believe my past should not define me as I am an individual who has grown and learnt from past transgressions.
As someone who has come from an extremely toxic relationship, that carried on for two years after I was publicly accused and almost jailed for allegedly abusing my then partner, I thought it would send a strong message to women and men that abuse is a real thing with real victims and that anyone can be a victim.
So I have been asked several questions regarding the incident in 2012 and here are my responses.
Was I in a toxic relationship? Yes.
Were we emotionally and verbally abusive towards each other? Yes.
Did I keep quiet about a serious matter and not deal with it accordingly? Yes.
Did we wake up and drive to court together during the court case? Yes, on numerous occasions.
Do I regret ever protecting my personal life, relationship and private affairs? No.
Was I ever convicted of abuse or any crime? No.
Did I ever have a restraining order against me? Yes, a temporary one that was never finalised and confirmed because the victim violated the conditions herself by coming to my house.
Did I physically abuse my then girlfriend. No. Not at all. This she lied about.
On the night of the alleged abuse, we had a heated argument. I had turned to leave when she tried to stop me. I pushed her body away from me and walked out. She was not injured when I left so I can’t comment about where her facial wounds came from as I was not there to witness that.
She had later dropped charges on her own account without any interference or pressure from me, despite the belief by many that I had something to do with that decision. It was hers and her legal teams’ decision to make and not mine. We also did not settle out of court nor did I pay her to drop charges. We did however, reunite shortly after the incident believing we had put it behind us.
It is for these reasons that I feel I have been unfairly labelled an abuser and have faced several media bashings brought on even further by my participation in this particular campaign.
People – men and women – accuse and get accused of abuse often in our country and I hope by being part of this campaign I highlight the seriousness of abuse not only in South Africa but globally. Abuse is a great injustice to anyone it affects, male or female.
I’m fully aware that being part of this campaign will not lift the cloud I’ve been carrying over my head for the last 3 years and I’m aware that I’ll always be known as “that guy”.
I was tried and prosecuted via social media and by tabloid publications, not the courts or the legal system. Sadly everyone with an opinion made their own conclusions. While I understand why everyone made the assumptions they did and believed that I had hurt her, I stand by my story that this is untrue. You may not believe my story, but this is just that, my story, my truth. One I have held on to and left undisclosed to protect a then-relationship with someone I loved. While I understand the sensitivity of the case, I must be honest and say I feel it’s unfair to force me to be remorseful for something I actually didn’t do. If the incident has changed perceptions of me and the person I really am, for that, I apologise.