Bongani Ndlovu Bulawayo Bureau
SOUTH Africa’s Scorpion Kings, DJs Kabza DeSmall and Maphorisa were yesterday detained at a hotel in Bulawayo after an arrest warrant was issued for their failure to perform at the Victoria Falls Carnival earlier this year.
But they will be able to leave after they paid a security deposit that was needed by the Sheriff.
The artistes performed on Sunday night at The Boundary in Bulawayo in front of a full house during their second visit to the City of Kings in the space of a year.
In April this year, Scorpion Kings had been billed to perform at the Victoria Falls Carnival, but did not pitch up. The duo’s no show was alongside Amapiano queen ShaSha.
The applicant, Victoria Falls Carnival (Private Limited), applied to the High Court which issued a writ for personal attachment and committal to prison dated September 18, 2022.
The first respondent was cited as Petrus Kabelo Motha (Kabza DeSmall) and the second is Themba Sonnyboy Sekowe (DJ Maphorisa).
Addressing the Sherriff for Zimbabwe and all constables and other peace officers, the Writ read: “Whereas an order was made by the Honourable Mr Justice Dube-Banda ordering the arrest of the 1st and 2nd Respondents and committing them to prison to confirm jurisdiction of the Respondents.
“Now, therefore, you are required and directed that you take Petrus Kabelo Motha and Themba Sonnyboy Sekowe of which they are found in Zimbabwe and deliver them to the keeper of the gaol at Bulawayo Prison, together with a copy of this writ, there to be safely kept until they are served with the summons against them issued by the High Court in Bulawayo for a claim in the sum of US$18 395.82 or have provided security in the sum of US$18 395.82 to the Sherriff of the High Court in Bulawayo, whichever occurs first.
“And return you this writ with what you have done thereupon. Witness: The Honourable Mr Luke Malaba, Chief Justice Zimbabwe, at Bulawayo this 17th day of September 2022.”
The situation outside the local hotel was tense yesterday morning as the Deputy Sherriff of the High Court, along with police officers were patiently waiting for the two to emerge from the hotel.
Local show promoters, such as 3DEvents, The Boundary proprietor Mr Shasha Gomez and Fife Street Events, were all at the hotel.
Bulawayo lawyer, Mr Zibusiso Ncube of Ncube and Partners, took up the role of the chief negotiator with South Africa’s Advocate Katlego Malatji who travelled with the duo.
It seems that Adv Malatji had been brought in because there were indications that the Scorpion Kings would encounter such a situation.
There was a truck at the entrance of the hotel, with police details waiting for the artistes to emerge, while deliberations between parties concerned ensued.
The Scorpion Kings were scheduled to fly out of Zimbabwe through Joshua Mqabuko International Airport yesterday morning, but they could not.
There was a time when it looked certain that the Scorpion Kings would be arrested as the negotiations took about five hours.
At around midday, Mr Ncube entered the hotel and emerged moments later with a thick ward of cash that he said was the security deposit that was needed by the Sheriff.
He was then whisked away to the office of the Sheriff were the amount was reportedly paid.
Mr Ncube said all was well and the duo would leave for South Africa in the evening.
“The issue has been resolved for now,” he said. “There is an order by the court, which attaches the persons of the two artistes of the claims from their previous appearance at the Victoria Falls Carnival.
“I think there’s a monetary dispute. So, they are from outside the jurisdiction of this court or authority, what has to happen was to confirm jurisdiction through an application by the applicant.
“In this case, there was no property, but what was attached was the persons, this means they had to be arrested. The issue can be resolved in court, or they pay security in terms of a specified amount by the court.”
Mr Ncube said they would dispute that they owe anything to the Victoria Falls Carnival.
“That security is to say that they will stand trial at a certain time, and then there is an order for this court,” he said. “We are at the stage; the security has been sorted out to the sheriff and we do have instructions to challenge the present order and the ultimate claim.
“So, our clients” view is that they don’t owe any money as alleged. We shall be filing the necessary documents to the court.”
Victoria Falls Carnival director Mr Brent Williamson said they were happy with the resolution.
“When they didn’t show up, we contacted them and they refunded us the actual performance fees that we had paid,” he said. “I can’t remember the exact amount. There were other costs that we didn’t get back. We are now talking to them and I can’t really say much.
“The money that was paid was the security deposit to cover any cost or if the negotiations are agreed, either it will be given to them or we take it back. So, we are still in negotiation with them and we should have resolved this by the end of the week.”
In 2015, former South Africa’s Generations actor and musician Anga “NaakMusiQ” Makubalo was arrested and detained at the Bulawayo Central police station for failing to perform at a show he was paid in full at Club Forty 40 in 2013.
NaakMusiQ, who played MJ back then, was picked up from his room at a local hotel, according to sources.
He owed the now defunct Club Forty 40 management R18 500 for performance fees and airfares for a show involving him in 2013 for which he didn’t pitch up.
Club Forty 40 was celebrating its first-year anniversary in 2013 and MJ was supposed to guest appear with fellow actor Senzo, Thami Mngqolo, who fulfilled his billing.
His two-hour detention at the police station delayed his performance as he only got on stage at 1.30AM.