Zanele Sifuba, the Speaker of South Africa’s African National Congress Free State legislature has accused Douye Diri, a Nigerian politician and Governor of Bayelsa State of leaking her sex tape.
It had been reported how Sifuba topped the trends list in South Africa after she was captured in the sex tape.
Many South Africans, groups and parties have sympathized with her and condemned the circulation of her nude images and sex tape, including Economic Freedom Fighters Provincial Secretary Malefane Bosanku Msimanga. Some have expressed disappointment and disgust over the clip.
The exploded ticking-time bomb scandal apparently started with the leakage of screenshots from the actual video.
It was learnt that the nudes started making the rounds on Monday, 31 October.
The Free State Legislature quickly responded by ordering an investigation into the Speaker’s sex scandal.
“The Legislature will establish investigations into this Gender-based violence. This is harassment and whoever shared this video must face the law. This is an insult to elderly women.”
The Economic Freedom Fighters Provincial Secretary Malefane Bosanku Msimanga and African National Congress Youth League Regional Chairperson Edgar Legoale condemned the ‘insensitive’ circulation of nude images of what appears to be those of the Speaker of Free State legislature.
The parties said that the person responsible for the circulation of the images should be arrested, charged and sentenced to a minimum of 15 years of jail term.
Taking to Facebook on Thursday, Sifuba identified Governor Diri as the Nigerian man who leaked the video.
She described the Nigerian politician as her lover whom she trusted.
“This is the picture of the man who leaked our video. He is my lover whom I trusted. A Nigerian Official, by name Douye Diri,” she said, posting the picture of the governor alongside.
“I trusted him with my life, but he betrayed me. Please share for the whole world to know the kind of man he is.”
Meanwhile, Sifuba has reportedly opened a civil claim case after the explicit sex tape was leaked.
Initial reports said the tape was leaked by a young man who reportedly tried to extort R300 000 from Sifuba, and when she did not pay, the video was released.
Meanwhile, the African National Congress Caucus in Free State has expressed confidence in Sifuba and declared its support for her amid the violation of her privacy.
The spokesperson for the caucus, Sizwe Zingitwa confirmed that Sifuba indicated she has opened a civil claim case, according to The South African.
“We wish Comrade Zanele strength, wisdom, and reenergised courage to carry out her responsibilities as deployed by her organisation,” Zingitwa said.
The public has since been discouraged from circulating any material related to the leaked sex tape, and based on South African law, anyone who knowingly distributes private sexual photographs or films may pay a fine as high as R300,000 or be jailed for up to four years or be liable for both punishments.
Nigerians have been subjects of verbal attacks in South Africa since the sex tape was leaked and a Nigerian was identified as responsible for it.
In its response to media reports that a Nigerian man leaked the sex tape, the Consulate of Nigeria in Johannesburg issued a public notice dated November 9, titled, ‘Condemnation Of Heedless Circulation Of Sex Video By Unnamed Nigerian’ condemned the video and sympathized with the lawmaker but cautioned against jumping into conclusions.
The public notice signed by the Consulate General of Nigeria, said, “The Consulate General of Nigeria, Johannesburg, has been apprised of media reports regarding the alleged involvement of an unnamed Nigerian national in the circulation of sensitive materials in blatant disregard to the privacy of the Speaker of Free State Provincial Legislature, Hon. Ntombizanele Sifuba.
“The Mission unequivocally condemns and distances all law-abiding Nigerians from the egregious and reprehensible violation of Hon. Sifuba’s privacy by anyone, whether Nigerian or not.
“We note that the alleged act is a flagrant violation of South Africa’s legislation on combating gender-based violence (GBV) and cyber abuse and join all well-meaning members of the public to empathise with Hon. Sifuba and her family over the regrettable incident.
“While awaiting the outcome of investigations into the real identity of the perpetrator of this heinous crime, the Mission wishes to call on the media to refrain from hasty and definitive conclusions on the nationality of the suspect as this may put the lives and property of law-abiding Nigerians in South Africa at risk.
“The Consulate General therefore reassures host authorities of its full support and cooperation towards the identification, tracking, arrest and prosecution of any Nigerian believed to be responsible or complicit in the mindless circulation of the sex video.
“It also appeals to the public to desist from further circulation of the offensive video and negative profiling of foreign nationals based on the alleged acts of criminal-minded individuals.”
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State government has reacted to reports purporting that Governor Douye Diri was involved in a sex escapade with a South African female legislator, Zanele Sifuba, which is contained in an alleged leaked video circulating in the social media and some online publications.
A statement issued by the Director, New Media to the Governor, Kola Oredipe, on Saturday, described the video content and the reports as fake news.
It stated that Diri did not know the lady lawmaker and had no contact or relationship with her, adding that the governor had not also travelled to South Africa in the past 10 years.
The statement titled, ‘Trending South African Sex Story: A Mere Distraction’, read, “Our attention has been drawn to a fake news circulating online about Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State over an alleged nude video leak of a South African female legislator, Zanele Sifuba.
“The post linking the governor to the allegation suddenly appeared on the Facebook page purportedly belonging to the woman after trending for more than a week.
“Our investigation, however, revealed that the said account is fake and was only created on Thursday, November 10, 2022.
“For a scandal that initially appeared on the South African media space on October 31 and was first linked to a ‘Nigerian youth,’ it is obvious those behind the new twist opened the parody account with the deliberate intention to tarnish the image of the Bayelsa Governor.
“Sadly, even without any effort to confirm the ridiculous allegation against the governor of a state, a few Nigerian online platforms rushed to publish the fake news from the ‘Zanele Sifuba Facebook’ account without investigating its source.
“While we have read about a purported attempt to collect R300, 000 from her, the ‘young blackmailer’ is certainly not Governor Diri.
“Ask the question: why would a governor of an oil-rich state resort to blackmail for a mere R300, 000 (about N8 million)? This is simply ridiculous.
“Clearly, political mischief-makers have gone on overdrive in their desperation to tarnish the reputation of a hardworking, calm, peaceful and focused Governor of Bayelsa State.
“This story is just another failed attempt to distract the man that is single-minded on his developmental agenda for his state and who has in the last six weeks devoted his time and energy to managing the devastating flood that hit Bayelsa.
“The public is, therefore, advised to discountenance the news as it lacks merit and has no bearing whatsoever with the Bayelsa Governor.
“Let it also be stated that there are consequences for publishing falsehood. The anonymity of the social media should not serve as shield for calumny and character assassination, with grave legal implications. Unfortunately, those portals circulating this unverified post have fallen into the trap and its repercussions.”