The month of May marks the anniversary of Bishop Makamu’s scandal which resulted in his month-long hiatus from Rea Tsotella, and a return that was shrouded with scandal.
Bishop Israel Makamu is the once beloved host of Moja Love’s flagship, double-bill, weekly talk-format show, Rea Tsotella. However, the bishop’s public image has not remained as intact since he first started hosting the show.
In May 2022, there was a scandal that resulted in him voluntarily stepping down as host. A few months later, Bishop Makamu was back at the helm of the show after he was allegedly vindicated of the allegations that initiated his hiatus.
What is Bishop Makamu’s scandal?
In May 2021, Bishop Makamu faced a social media scandal when a viral video of audio leaked of what sounded like the bishop soliciting one of the young female members of his congregation.
The bishop denied the allegations, claiming that he was merely asking for the church keys from the second party in the video.
Bishop Makamu still with Rea Tsotella a year later
When the scandal first broke out, the public called for Moja Love to take action against Bishop Israel Makamu in light of the allegations.
However, Moja Love maintained its silence and the channel only released a public statement on the matter informing the public that the bishop had voluntarily stepped down, and that the channel would conduct an internal investigation about the allegations.
Not even a month after the scandal broke, Makamu made his return to Moja Love, with a double-episode which was suggested as an attempt to get public empathy, specifically, based on the context of the tell-all interview and how it was framed.
The return was not on Rea Tsotella, but arguably worked towards mitigating the potential damage of a surprise, abrupt return to the show.
When did Bishop Makamu return to Moja Love?
Bishop Makamu first returned to Moja Love in the same month as his scandal, May 2021, through the show Ama-Bishop, where he shared his side of the story amongst a panel of all-male religious leaders.
The Bishop suggested that he was not soliciting coitus in the video, but was simply asking for the church keys.
When did Bishop Makamu return to Rea Tsotella?
Bishop Makamu returned to Rea Tsotella in June 2021. At the time of his return, the matter of the sexual assault charges made against him were not resolved.
Although the channel seemed to have prioritised meeting the calls for his return, rather than waiting until the case was solved.
Did Bishop Makamu go to jail?
Bishop Makamu did not go to jail for the sexual assault allegations that he was accused of. In August 2021, the charges were thrown out by the National Prosecuting Authority after the complainant withdrew her statement.
The reason for her withdrawal was her fear of the proceedings and the long-reaching implications of a court case.