Victorial Falls carnival returns to haunt Scorpion Kings Scorpion Kings legal representative Mr Zibusiso Ncube (right) holds a wad of notes as he prepares to pay a deposit for the Amapiano duo (left) at the Sheriff of the High Court offices in Bulawayo yesterday

Bongani Ndlovu, Chronicle Reporter 

SOUTH Africa’s Scorpion Kings, DJs Kabza DeSmall and Maphorisa were yesterday detained at a local hotel in Bulawayo for seven hours following a warrant of arrest issued against them for failing to perform at the Victoria Falls Carnival in April this year.

The artistes performed at The Boundary in Bulawayo on Sunday night in front of a full house during their second visit to the City of Kings this year.

In April this year, Scorpion Kings had been billed to perform at the Victoria Falls Carnival but did not pitch up. The duo was in a no-show alongside Amapiano queen Shasha. According to carnival organisers, they set in motion processes that culminated in them suing the artistes for breach of contract. 

On Saturday, Victoria Falls Carnival (Private Limited) through their lawyers — Thulani Nkala from Dube & Nkala Law Firm filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking jurisdiction for the duo to be tried in Zimbabwe. This resulted in a writ for personal attachment and committal to prison being issued to the artistes on Sunday.

According to the court papers, Petrus Kabelo Motha (DJ Kabza DeSmall) and Themba Sonnyboy Sekowe (DJ Maphorisa) were cited as first and second respondents respectively.

“Whereas, an order was made by the Honourable Mr Justice Dube-Banda ordering the arrest of the first and second respondents and committing them to prison to confirm jurisdiction of the respondents.

“Now, therefore, you are required and directed that you take Petrus Kabelo Motha and Themba Sonnyboy Sekowe of which they are found in Zimbabwe and deliver them to the Keeper of the Gaol at Bulawayo Prison, together with a copy of this writ, there to be safely kept until they are served with the summons against them issued by the High Court in Bulawayo for a claim in the sum of US$18 395,82.”

The writ stated that the respondents should provide security in the sum of US$18 395,82 to the Sheriff of the High Court in Bulawayo to avoid civil imprisonment. Following this application, the situation outside the local hotel was tense yesterday morning as the Deputy Sherriff of the High Court, along with police officers, patiently waited for the two to emerge from the hotel.

Bulawayo lawyer, Mr Zibusiso Ncube of Ncube and Partners who assumed the role of the chief negotiator together with South Africa’s Advocate Katlego Malatji who travelled with the pair, gathered outside the hotel with Deputy Sheriff and police officers. Show promoters who had brought in the duo, 3DEvents, Fife Street Events and The Boundary proprietor Mr Shasha Gomez were also present. 

A truck with police details waiting for the artistes to appear was also parked at the entrance of the hotel, while deliberations between the concerned parties ensued.

The Scorpion Kings were scheduled to fly out of Zimbabwe from Joshua Mqabuko International Airport yesterday morning but following the court order, they failed to leave the country at their scheduled time. The negotiations lasted for about five hours.

Bulawayo Prison

At around midday, Mr Ncube entered the hotel and emerged moments later carrying wads of cash, which he said was the security deposit needed by the Sheriff. He was then whisked away to the office of the Sheriff where the amount required was reportedly paid.

When he returned to the hotel, Mr Ncube said the issue had been resolved with the respondents having been cleared to leave the country. 

He confirmed that a warrant of arrest was issued against the two artistes following their non-appearance at the Victoria Falls Carnival. 

“I think there’s a monetary dispute. Since they are from outside the jurisdiction of this court what has to happen was to confirm the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case. In this case, there was no property, but what was attached was the persons, this means they had to be arrested,” said Mr Ncube.

Joshua Mqabuko International Airport

However, Mr Ncube said he has been directed by the artistes to challenge the Victoria Falls Carnival dispute.

“The money paid to the Sheriff is security to guarantee that they will stand trial at a certain time. We have instructions to challenge the present order and the ultimate claim. So, our clients’ view is that they don’t owe any money as alleged,” said Mr Ncube.

Mr Ncube said they will file the necessary documents to the court.

The Scorpion Kings were Nicodemusly whisked away from the hotel at around 2PM. 

Victoria Falls Carnival director Mr Brent Williamson said they were happy with the resolution. 

“When they (Scorpion Kings) didn’t show up, we contacted them and they refunded us the actual performance fees that we had paid. I can’t remember the exact amount. There were other costs that we didn’t get back,” said Mr Williamson.

“The money that was paid was the security deposit to cover costs of the negotiations. It’s either it will be given to them or we take it back. So, we are still in negotiations with them and we should have resolved this by the end of the week.”

In 2015, former South Africa’s Generations actor and musician Anga “NaakMusiQ” Makubalo was arrested and detained at the Bulawayo Central Police Station for failing to perform at a show he was paid in full for at Club Forty 40 two years prior. 

NaakMusiQ was picked up from his room at a local hotel.

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