The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) board met this past week to discuss various matters facing the organisation – uppermost on its agenda was the position of non-executive board member, Mr Arthur Mafokate, in light of the serious assault accusations levelled against him. Consultations with Mr Mafokate have taken place since the allegations surfaced. In these consultations, the organisation’s stance on gender-based violence was discussed and made explicit. 


The grievous allegations against Mr Mafokate go to the heart of the violations that South African women face on a daily basis. We are sensitive to the unique and added vulnerabilities faced by women in the music industry specifically, which need to be addressed collectively and urgently by all pillars of the industry.

SAMRO strongly and unequivocally condemns any violence, and especially those perpetrated against women. This is something each member of our organisation, including the board, is aware of.

Thus, it was unanimously agreed that the ongoing court case involving Mr Mafokate and Ms Busisiwe Twala has continued to attract undesirable, and quite frankly worrying publicity, which has also caused serious harm to the public perception of the organisation. 

In the SAMRO Board meeting held on the 28th of June 2018, the Board resolved that notice be given to Mr Mafokate of the decision to initiate the process to remove him from the SAMRO Board as a non-executive Director. The resolution of the Board, is neither a pronouncement on the potential outcome nor merits of the case. 

Mr Mafokate is a high profile personality whose court case in the matter involving Ms Twala has received much negative media coverage; and such attention and publicity inevitably extends to the organisations Mr Mafokate is associated with.

Mr Mafokate has since been given notice of the decision, and as is his right, has been invited to make representations in response to this notice within five calendar days, failing which the resolution to remove him as non-executive board member is passed.

On behalf of the SAMRO Board Jerry Mnisi said: “As a responsible corporate citizen operating in South Africa where violence generally, and gender-based violence specifically, is pandemic, SAMRO cannot be unresponsive in the midst of this matter that not only represents a severe social challenge in the country but also continues to erode the reputation and standing of our brand.”