M-Net has started to distance itself from the now controversial Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba facing charges of brutal assault, with Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) saying the channel doesn’t know where he is and isn’t speaking on his behalf anymore.
Meanwhile Mthokozisi Ndaba (25) who has gone to ground with no official statement from him or his management more than 72 hours after a 21-year old woman, Neo Tsele, laid a charge of assault against him following a bloody Friday night fight over a bottle of booze has suddenly spoken out on the “TeamMthokozisi” Instagram account on Tuesday – the first since the police charge three days ago.
Mthokozisi Ndaba says he has decided to fly back to Johannesburg and that people not attack Neo Tsele because “we do not know what issues she may be dealing with”.
“In the light of the current allegations and a case opened against me, I have returned to Joburg again to co-operate with the police regarding the matter. In as much as this has affected me, the craft God blessed me with, the family, friends and fans negatively but let us please let our SA law to handle the matter rightfully.”
Mthokozisi Ndaba said he’s pleading with TeamMthokozisi and “everyone not to attack the complainant on social media. We do not know what issues she may be dealing with.”
Mzansi Magic over the weekend said it condemns any act of abuse, especially against women.
Neo Tsele opened a case of assault against Mthokozisi Ndaba, saying he beat her up in Braamfontein on Friday night, just days after the conclusion of the 13th season of the FremantleMedia format reality show produced by [SIC] Entertainment.
During a fight over a bottle of vodka, Mothokozisi Ndaba allegedly started to hit Neo Tsele in the face and slammed her into a wall. She also lost a tooth while he ran away, allegedly only stopping his brutal physical attack when her blood started dripping over his fists.
Mthokozisi Ndaba hasn’t done a single media interview since he lost Idols against Paxton Fielies just over a week ago and notoriously skipped the post-show press conference, the first runner-up in the 13 season history of the show to do so.
Mthokozisi Ndaba was supposed to fly back to Durban on Saturday afternoon but Mzansi Magic that was asked on Monday where exactly the Idols runner-up is, told TVwithThinus that the M-Net packaged channel that broadcast Idols is no longer sure of his whereabouts. The channel has been unable to make contact with Mthokozisi Ndaba for over 3 days and counting.
“Based on the social media posts from Mthokozisi we believe he is back home in KwaZulu-Natal,” says Mzansi Magic.
Mzansi Magic was asked of there’s performances or bookings Mthokozisi Ndaba is missing where he has been booked and scheduled to appear.
Mzansi Magic says “once Idols is completed the booking agent generally handles the contestants’ bookings and their diaries so we are not able to comment to any Mthokozisi might have”.
It’s highly unusual for a TV channel not to be able to get hold of any of its on-screen talent or personalities after trying for days, especially during a serious incident that has far-ranging potential for brand and reputational damage.
M-Net: Distancing itself from troubled Idols runner-up
M-Net is now also signaling a distancing between the pay-TV broadcaster and the troubled Idols runner-up who last week canned all media interviews and got treatment from medical professionals following his Idols defeat against Paxton Fielies.
Mzansi Magic now says it has stopped handling publicity for Mthokozisi Ndaba, and told TVwithThinus it only provides PR for contestants once the show has ended for the winner and the runner-up for a week after the show.
Mthokozisi Ndaba’s manager, Kim Coppen, didn’t respond to a media enquiry made Monday over Ndaba and there has been no statement from his management to respond to the allegations of physical assault since the charge was laid at Johannesburg police early on Saturday morning.
Kim Coppen was asked if there’s any comment from his management over the allegations, if there’s been consideration over dropping Mthokozisi Ndaba and no longer representing him, and what his management’s view is of assault and abuse of women but there’s been no response.
The claim of physical abuse against the Idols star came at the start of this year's 16 Days of Activism campaign that runs from 25 November to 10 December and aims to raise awareness over the scourge of violence against women and children in South Africa.
In a recent survey 1 in 4 women said they've been hit by a man, and 1 in 5 said they've been sexually abused or raped, with only 5% of women saying they feel the South African Police Service (SAPS) would help them if they reported it.
Sunday was the International Day to End Violence Against Women.