The topic of Gender-based violence (GBV) has been topping the trends list this week as disturbing videos of Anele “Nellie“ Tembe, the late fiancée of rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes, circulate on social media.
While the court of law hasn’t passed any legal judgement implicating AKA to abuse claims, GBV organizations want the rapper’s music to be muted.
Various calls – from organizations working within the field of GBV – are sounding out to remind South Africans that domestic violence is a public issue, a crime and a standalone crisis.
Tembe, 22, died on April 11 after a fall from the 10th floor of the Pepper Club in Cape Town. Her death is being investigated. Her father, Moses Tembe, has put on record that he does not believe his daughter committed suicide.
A video, which emerged in reports at the weekend, shows AKA breaking down a bedroom door with his hands, apparently trying to get to Tembe, who had locked herself in the room. The alleged incident happened on 13 March.
Kiernan released a statement early on Sunday addressing the leaked video, saying that the couple “enjoyed a beautiful yet challenging relationship, that at times was tumultuous, like all relationships”.
In a second video, said to have been made at the couple’s Bryanston, Johannesburg, home in March this year, Tembe can be seen in a room that had been badly trashed. She is screaming hysterically and is unresponsive to efforts by an unknown man to calm her.
She cries out: “Get away from me,” before falling to the floor and screaming, “Look what he’s doing, you guys don’t know what he’s been doing to me!”
The person recording the video, believed to be Forbes, narrates: “Look at all this. We’ve got somebody here under the influence, tried to jump off the balcony, my eardrums are ringing, I think I burst my eardrum.
“I have a witness that witnessed that I did not fight back and there is no fighting back from my side.”
— ms_mellanie_sawyer 🎈 (@sawyer_co) May 9, 2021
He adds that when the matter goes to court, this is what he wants people to see – as Anele sobs in the background, sitting on the floor, holding her head in her hands.
In another video, also believed to have been made in their home, Tembe is sitting on the floor of a trashed bedroom, curled up and rocking back and forth with her head in her hands, crying: “I want my mom”.
This is sad 😔 this Kiernan and Anele situation was deep pic.twitter.com/rEGnJbPhP3
— uYesu Nyana KaThixo (@uYesuKrestu) May 9, 2021
In his statement on Sunday, Forbes lashed out at those who released the first video:
“I am fully aware of who the sources engaging media are and what their intention is, which is to influence the SAPS inquest, which the investigating officer has stated numerous times to my legal team and to them, that I Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, have not been named to be a suspect, but have been nothing but a cooperating witness.”
MOSAIC Training, Service & Healing Centre, a NGO that works with victims of GBV, said taking allegations of domestic violence seriously and believing victims could save women’s lives.
The NGO says domestic violence is still either normalized or hidden as a matter to be dealt with in private between intimate partners or family members.
“This is not true. All types of domestic violence should be taken seriously and not be dismissed as the perpetrator merely being angry, passionate or letting off some steam.
“Taking these allegations seriously enough can save lives,” said said Advocate Tarisai Mchuchu-Macmillan, Executive Director of MOSAIC.
“Women are often dismissed and told the perpetrator seems like a nice guy or a great father.
“It’s essential that we listen to them, believe and trust victims and survivors,” she added.
Main Image; Daneloo.com