‘He was in a rage’ – Acclaimed artist arrested after airport assault

Channel24 | Charl Blignaut

An airline employee has spoken about how acclaimed artist Mohau Modisakeng was arrested after allegedly assaulting a woman at a Kenyan airport on Tuesday, slapping her and tearing up her passport. Four sources told City Press how Modisakeng attacked the woman at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, while scheduled to board a 3.55pm flight to Johannesburg, on his way home from Zanzibar. A fellow passenger said: “He was in a rage … I was genuinely concerned he was going to kill her.” Lawyers for Modisakeng (32) deny that he did any such thing. He represented South Africa at the prestigious Venice Biennale last year and has won numerous awards for his work that examines how the violence of the past impacts on black life today.

“We confirm that we act on behalf of Modisakeng and [the woman] in this regard,” attorney Sabeeha Moolla said in a statement. “Mr Modisakeng has confirmed that an argument ensued, but unequivocally denies all allegations of abuse in this regard. This was a private issue … and in no way resulted from a jealous rage.” But eyewitness accounts contradict this. SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said: “We confirm that there was an incident of disruptive behaviour that occurred. What appeared to be a disagreement between the two passengers turned violent and in the process the passport of a female traveller was torn…read more

Image: Mohau Modisakeng