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Babes Wodumo assault: Celebrity boyfriend Mampintsha arrested

Big Nuz's Mampintsha and Babes Wodumo during the 2016 MTV Africa Music AwardsImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mampintsha (L) has reportedly filed a counter-assault charge against his girlfriend Babes Wodumo

Police in South have arrested the music star Mampintsha after a video appeared to show him assaulting his girlfriend, also a popular musician.

Lawyers for Mampintsha, whose real name is Mandla Maphumulo, said he had been defending himself before the recording.

Bongekile Simelane, known by the stage name Babes Wodumo, was talking to fans on Instagram Live in a bedroom when she was slapped repeatedly.

Violence against women is seen as a major problem in South .

The video of the alleged assault, which was broadcast live on Sunday evening, was widely shared on social media sparking outrage and calls for Mampintsha’s arrest.

Babes Wodumo featured on the Black Panther soundtrack and has often collaborated with Mampintsha , including on one of her most popular songs, Wololo.

National police spokesman Brig Vish Naiddoo told the BBC said all cases of domestic abuse were taken seriously.

“We are treating this case just as would any other similar case. The question is whether you the media treat this case like any other. We are consistent,” he said.

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Image copyright AFP
Image caption Babes Wodumo was “traumatised” after the incident, the singer’s sister said

Mampintsha, who is a member of Kwaito music group Big Nuz, has now reportedly filed a counter-assault charge.

“He was assaulted so he has opened a case of assault against Bongekile Simelane,” his lawyer Pat Magwaza told local eNCA TV station.

“At this stage, from what I have heard from him in consultation, it was before the video. He was then defending himself when the video was made,” he said, adding that the recording looked like a set up.

Image copyright Babes Wodumo
Image caption This is not the first time alleged abuse against the singer has become a matter of national debate

Babes Wodumo’s sister, Nonduh Simelane, told site The Juice that the 24-year-old Gqom singer was “traumatised but doing OK” and was resting.

She also dismissed suggestions on social media that the video was set up to highlight the plight of domestic violence.

Fans’ shock

The BBC’s Milton Nkosi in South Africa says Babes Wodumo’s parents have thanked South Africans for their support, which has included calls from the major political parties for the police to investigate the case.

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“Your messages went a long way to put a smile back on our daughter’s face,” her father Rev Welcome Mbongeni Simelane said.

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Media captionThembi Maphanga was doused in petrol and set alight by her partner

People watching the video live on Instagram expressed shock, with one saying, “Wait what?!” before later adding, “Not this again.”

This is not the first time the couple’s relationship has become a matter of national debate.

In May last year, she was asked in a radio interview if Mampintsha was abusing her, which led to a discussion about the ethics of how the interview was conducted.

It is one of a spate of attacks against women that has sparked outrage in the country over the last two years.

The murder of 22-year-old Karabo Mokoena by her ex-boyfriend shocked the country in 2017, with women using the hashtag #MenAreTrash.

A 2018 report by Statistics South Africa found that 7.7% of men and 6.8% of women thought it was acceptable for a husband to hit his wife if she argued with him.

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