by Thinus Ferreira
The socialite Somizi Mhlongo who is once again swirling in controversy following allegations of violent physical abuse is out of his gig as a presenter on the SABC's Metro FM radio station, with his seat as a judge on Idols on Mzansi Magic that is also in serious jeopardy.
The scandal-riddled star is once again in the tabloid headlines for all the wrong reasons, following leaked BarLeaderTV production recordings from his now-estranged lover, Mohale Motaung.
Mohale Motaung claims that Somizi Mhlongo broke his ribs and almost knocked out teeth in a violent physical abuse incident in 2020; allegedly threatened Mohale with a kitchen knife, saying he would kill them both; and allegedly even tried to drive him off the road after an Idols afterparty.
Mohale Motaung and Somizi Mhlongo's tempestuous relationship has been marred by persistent rumours of infidelity and breakup ever since their over-the-top and tacky reality TV wedding series, Somizi & Mohale: The Union that was filmed for MultiChoice's Showmax video streamer in 2020.
Somizi Mhlongo and MultiChoice are also mired in drama over allegations that he allegedly stole and plagiarised the idea for the Dinner at Somizi's TV series from another creative, Hastings Moeng.
Neither Mohale Motaung nor Somizi Mhlongo responded with any public statement by the time of publishing over the violent physical abuse claims.
On Wednesday morning the SABC in a statement confirmed that Somizi Mhlongo is gone from the Metro FM airwaves for now.
"The SABC can confirm that Metro FM management met with Somizi Mhlongo and he has requested to take some time off from work. Management has granted Somizi Mhlongo permission to do so. The corporation has also noted comments on social media about Somizi Mhlongo and we would like to point out that the public broadcaster does not condone any acts of abuse and violence."
Meanwhile Somizi Mhlongo's continued participation as an Idols judge on M-Net's Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) channel is also becoming increasingly untenable given the serious nature of the allegations that have surfaced.
If Somizi Mhlongo is removed or leaves, viewers will however see him for a few weeks longer on-air, since several episodes of the current 17th season have been filmed by the [SIC] Entertainment production company already.
MultiChoice on Tuesday told TVwithThinus in a statement in response to a media enquiry that "We are aware of the allegations made against Somizi Mhlongo. As a strong proponent of a violence-free South Africa, we view these allegations seriously and are giving them the attention they deserve".
In January the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) slammed Somizi Mhlongo in a strongly-worded statement over his insults levelled against journalists.
Somizi attacked journalists after reports about his alleged infidelity and crumbling relationship and a legal battle over the canned Dinner at Somizi's TV show, after he was approached for comment but declined to comment.
SANEF said that Somizi's "actions have aggravated what is already a hostile working environment, especially for women journalists. This is a direct attack on media freedom in the country. Worldwide similar attacks are being meted out on journalists with the intent to silence their voices, especially that of women and the stories they tell."
"SANEF calls on Somizi Mhlongo to unreservedly apologise to these journalists and the public on all his social platforms for his unbecoming behaviour. He must call on his followers to stop harassing and intimidating them. Further, we call on the journalists to lay charges of intimidation and for MultiChoice to officially distance themselves from Mhlongo's comments."