CAPETOWN – Olomide, 62, whose real name is Antoine Agbepa Mumba, had been due to play at the Gallagher Convention Centre outside Johannesburg on June 28 and the Shimmy Beach Club in Cape Town two days later. The hitmaker has since spoken out against the onslaught after Shimmy Beach Club released a statement on Twitter on Tuesday in response to a group known as the Stop Koffi Olomide Collective.
Sources reveal that a recent outcry from groups managing multiple online accounts, many of which pose as virtual only NGO’s have been masquerading as women’s rights groups. When approached for questioning, group members failed to respond timeously.
Four of Koffi’s former dancers alleged that they were repeatedly sexually assaulted by the artist between 2002 and 2006 and held against their will while in Paris.
The court however dismissed the kidnapping and assault charges and according to Cape Argus – IOL the legal action comes just a few days after Court of Appeal of Versailles found Olomide not guilty and relaxed all charges against him.
The star went on trial in France on Monday and denied the assault charges as well as allegations he helped the dancers enter France illegally and withheld their pay. The case was reportedly heard behind closed doors at a court in Nanterre on February 11.
The four complainants who filed complaints in 2007, 2009 and 2013 never returned to DRC yet have now emerged online as the collective after the courts decision to dismiss the case. The court also dismissed the charges against two men accused of being complicit in the assaults.
Outside the courtroom, Koffi’s legal representative read a brief statement from his team. “We are relieved but not surprised by the courts decision today. It can only be surprising to those who rushed to judgment before the trial had started and before a single word of evidence had been heard,” he said.
When charges were brought against Olomide, AFP reported that the singer left France and has not set foot in the country since. Formal documentation from the French embassy however reveals that the artist has been in the country for over two months and continues to perform both nationally and throughout the world.
The story, which appeared to have been fast-tracked in the online world, has put the pressure on the media world, as more information acquitting the artist has become available.
In the French rape case, Olomide’s lawyer has said the women filed the complaints in the hopes of obtaining temporary French residency permits (Times Live).
The victory of Olomide in the case has comes as a relieve to many fans and professionals alike, who believe social media has become grounds for attacking and destroying public figures. There is a rape culture on the rise against men, and it needs to be debunked before it becomes an easy way to get pubic sympathy to destroy peoples’ reputation, says Sahid Mahdil from the centre against Abuse in Dubai.
The untested allegations published in the media also raises red flags of the credibility of journalists and media houses that published the story without Prima facie evidence and the displaced presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.