It seems that people in the spotlight in South Africa have yet to find effective ways to stay out sexual scandals. Just recently, COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was suspended for having unethical relations with a female junior employee of the union. This Sunday, City Press brought the details of yet another sexual scandal to the spotlight; the story of media executive Given Mkhari and a media studies student.
Mkhari heads Power FM in the Gauteng province and Capricorn FM in Limpopo. The media student is 25 years old and is employed by Vodacom. The gist of Mkhari’s story is that the woman has been harassing him for a job at one of the media houses he runs. When it became clear that Mkhari would not give in to her demands, the woman became aggressive. According to Mkhari, the woman fabricated a story that he had forced himself on her and at some point, she demanded R 20 million to keep quiet about the incident.
The woman’s story is quite different. She says that she met Mkhari when he came into the Vodacom shop where she works. They spoke about her previous job application for a job at one of his companies. He promised to follow-up for her and gave her his e-mail address. The woman was attracted to Mkhari and thought the feeling was mutual but she was disappointed. She claims Mkhari sexually assaulted her. On the day that the alleged assault took place; the woman explained that she had not wanted to rush into a “sexual encounter” with Mkhari because she was interested in building a relationship with the father of three.
On Sunday, the paper reported that both Given Mkhari and the woman in question had opened criminal charges against each other. The woman laid sexual assault charges against Mkhari while he decided that an extortion case would be appropriate for the situation.
The details of the incident include a meeting at the house of one of Mkhari’s friends. He claims he had only met with the woman so that his friend could talk to her. Mkhari said that his friend wanted to find out exactly what the woman wanted from Mkhari. On the other hand, the young woman insists that the visit was the beginning of a rendezvous which saw her, Mkhari and his friend “Jeff” enjoy a ride in a white Mercedes Benz, buy drinks and run some errands. They ended up at a hotel in Constantia Kloof. This is where she says that the attack took place. The woman kept the incident private until eight months later when she decided to speak out against Mkhari who, after the assault, allegedly placed R 400 on a nearby table and left her alone in the hotel room.
Neither Mkhari nor the young student have been arrested or questioned in connection with the charges that each of them are facing.