As of Monday, 30 October 2017, Mr Raphael Benza of Vth Season officially submitted a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) against Mr Prince Nyembe of Beam Group, a company which manages the business of an artist formerly managed by Vth Season, Kiernan Forbes (popularly known as AKA).
The submitted complaint is with regards to hateful, injurious and xenophobic comments made by Nyembe on email to Benza on several occasions during recent communication between Vth Season and Forbes regarding monies owed by Forbes to Vth Season.
In the course of these communications, and on 24 October 2017, Nyembe sent an email to Benza which read:
“And your clever? your just a criminal that’s all .left your shit country to come take advantage of our talented people!! go home !!you don’t belong here .” (sic).
On 27 October 2017, Nyembe repeated his comments about Benza not belonging in South Africa when he stated the following in an email:
“I can’t believe I’m still getting emails from you. I thought you had left SA and gone back home by now!”
Forbes was copied on both of these e-mails. Regrettably, Forbes never distanced himself from the hateful, injurious and xenophobic comments made by Nyembe – instead allowing his partner to engage in xenophobic attacks against Benza.
Benza’s submitted complaint to the HRC is in isolation of the dispute involving monies owed by Forbes to the Vth Season. Benza is making a stand as a proud African that there should be no room or acceptance for xenophobia anywhere in the world yet alone on the African continent.
Over the past 16 years, Benza has played a pivotal role in the South African entertainment landscape from concert promotions, to entertainment venue ownership, to brand marketing, events, and artist & talent management. Benza has also played an instrumental role in paving the way and opening doors for South African artists to tap into opportunities across the African continent through paid gigs, radio & TV airplay, as well as artist collaborations, all of which Forbes has previously benefitted from.
“As a proud African of Liberian decent I take a stand for all Africans that in 2017 we cannot sit back and let people like Mr Prince Nyembe demonstrate xenophobic attacks in any form without recourse. An insult to me because of my heritage is an insult to all Africans,” expresses Raphael Benza.
The Vth Season stands behind Benza’s decision to submit a complaint to the HRC against Nyembe and will continue to stand by him through what is now a legal case.
“As a South African I was shocked by this hate speech directed at my business partner, Benza. I myself have done work in over 10 African countries and as a company encouraging all its talent and clients to work continentally, we have never experienced xenophobia. As a South African I will stand up against xenophobia,” shares Ninel Musson, Director at Vth Season.
Press statement on behalf of Raphael Benza of Vth Season