Police release Simphiwe Dana after ex-fiancé laid assault counter-charges

Image credit: Twitter/Simphiwe Dana

Musician Simphiwe Dana spent some time in police holding cells on Wednesday after handing herself over to the Norwood police station in Johannesburg.

In a statement released via civil society organisation Wise4Afrika on Friday, Dana said she decided to hand herself over after her ex-fiancé laid assault and crimen injuria counter-charges against her.

She said the prosecutor declined to prosecute her and dismissed the counter-charges as “flimsy.”

‘Re-victimisation of victims’

Dana alleged that her then-fiancé physically attacked her on 27 December, 2019 and threatened her against laying charges against him.

She nevertheless laid assault and intimidation charges against him on 30 December and shared the details on social media. Her ex-partner then filed the counter-charges earlier this week.

The popular singer said, “My experience has been a disturbing revelation about how the criminal justice system can be manipulated to re-victimise and harass victims of intimate-partner abuse.

“There appears to be an increasing trend of abusers laying counter-assault charges against their victims as an intimidation tactic.”

Dana to pursue case

Dana said her holding cell was “full of domestic violence survivors whose partners had laid counter-charges.”

She described this as a bullying and intimidation tactic used by abusers to escape accountability.

Best known for her 2009 hit track Zandisile, Dana vowed to pursue her case against her ex-fiancé and see it “through to the end.”

In an Instagram post in December, she revealed that her ex-partner had boasted that he had a friend in the police service “who runs the province.”

She added, “I was intended to marry him. I don’t play that game. In a world where we have sleepless nights for our daughters, a man threatening me in this way will have all my wrath. His name is Leshoto Itsweng.”

Dana stated that she would not conduct any further media interviews on the matter. Itsweng has not publicly commented on the case.

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