The organisation apologises for its “poor response” to abuse allegations levelled at the hip-hop pioneer.
The Universal Zulu Nation has pledged its support to the people who have accused Afrika Bambaataa of sexual abuse, and also offered an apology for its initial response to the claims.
Bambaataa was first accused of child molestation in March, when former New York State Democratic Committee member Ronald Savage alleged that he had molested him in 1980, when he was only 15 years old. Since then, a number of other victims and witnesses have come forward, although Bambaataa still denies the claims.
Although The Universal Zulu Nation (an organisation established by Bambaataa in 1970) removed the musician as its leader earlier this month, its former International Spokesperson King Kamonzi was criticised for dismissing Savage’s allegations as “rumours, slander and outright lies”.
Its new statement, which is signed by the organisation’s current leaders, says: “On behalf of the members of the Universal Zulu Nation worldwide, who have made their voices heard through their chapter leaders, we extend our deepest and most sincere apologies to the many people who have been hurt by the actions of Afrika Bambaataa and the subsequent poor response of our organization to allegations leveled against him.
“To the survivors of apparent sexual molestation by Bambaataa, both those who have come forward and others who have not, we are sorry for what you endured and extend our thanks to those who have spoken out for your bravery in bringing to light that which most of us were sadly unaware of, and others chose not to disclose.
“We extend further apologies to Ronald “Bee-Stinger” Savage and Hassan “Poppy” Campbell, who were subjected to unjust and inexcusable attacks on their characters in official statements by our organization when they chose to speak their truths – we hear you, we believe you, and we stand with you.”