'I am not above the law': Somizi speaks out after criminal charges opened
Entertainer Somizi Mhlongo has vowed to accept the legal implications of what he called a “very bad joke”, as the fallout over his lockdown extension comments continued.
On Thursday night, just before President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the national lockdown would be extended by two weeks, Somizi revealed that very same piece of information.
The comment came on Metro FM co-host Dineo Ranaka's Instagram Live video saying that “Fikile” told him, in reference to transport minister Fikile Mbalula. The video was filmed while their show was on the air.
The minister has since opened a criminal case against Somizi for spreading fake news, in line with the Disaster Management Act and lockdown regulations — and Mhlongo has apologised for his comment.
Taking to Instagram on Friday afternoon, Somizi again said sorry, and said that he was willing to deal with whatever came next.
“This is difficult,” he started out. “I'm not OK, but I'll be OK.”
Later in the video he said: “Whatever legal matters or steps have been taken, I am a citizen and I'm not above the law. If I've gone wrong, I will respect whatever judgment or whatever verdict comes out of it. If I didn't do wrong, because it was not intentional, it was a very bad joke, I was not even aware it was being recorded ... whatever it is I need to face, I will face it, because I am not above the law.”
The entertainer added that it was a pity that Ranaka's video was cut off when it was.
“Unfortunately the part that everyone didn't see is when I said to her, 'Ag, I was joking. I mean I don't even know if there's going to be an extension. No-one knows.'
“But the timing was bad. The timing was horrible. Because it happened exactly like I said it, which I can also question that maybe I have the gift of seeing things because they happened. But at this point I really, really made a bad joke.
“I never spoke to Fikile about anything regarding that. I never spoke to Fikile at all this week,” said Somizi.
He said the situation was “spiralling out of control”.
“Because it happened the way I said it, people don't believe that I did not know anything about it. It was just a bad joke. Just the way I joked about Zozibini winning Miss Universe and it happened.
“The timing on this one, which is a very sensitive issue, did not sit well. Which I understand. And again I apologise. I apologise to every single person that has taken offence and that has felt we broke the rules and the law, and I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me. I'm human, I make mistakes, and I'm owning those mistakes,” Somizi said in the six-minute video.
He also apologised to “the presidency and the government and everyone else for what has happened”.
He said he felt this was a “lesson learnt”.
“Also, again, I looked at this with the spiritual eye. This situation has just put some turbulence on my flight. And is it a crash? No. I'm going to hold on to it, I'm going to own it, I'm going to be in the moment, but I won't let it crumble me or crush me. It's a lesson learnt.
“It's God's way. I've been through worse things in my life and I know how God and the universe operates. He's teaching me a lesson and I've learnt a lesson, whatever that lesson is. I have faith that this too shall pass.
“Challenging times are just challenges, not problems. I'm going to take it one day at a time.”