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Outcry as S.African singer shows assault live on Instagram

Police in South Africa were investigating on Monday after pop-star Babes Wodumo apparently broadcast live images of her being assaulted by a man, who was suspected to be her lover.

The country has among the highest rates of gender-based violence globally and the 38-second clip of a young woman being attacked by a shirtless man has sparked a backlash on social media.

“The national commissioner has ordered police to trace the whereabouts of Ms Wodumo so that a statement can be obtained from her and a case opened if indeed it’s her being assaulted in the video,” the police said in a statement.

Police called on her partner, musician Mandla “Mampintsha” Maphumulo, to hand himself in to officers to assist with their inquiries.

Wodumo’s family told local news site News24 that she had made a criminal complaint of assault to police.

She has declined requests for interviews but her team posted on her Twitter account that “we would like to thank everyone for the messages (of) support about the early morning video”.

Wodumo, a celebrated performer of gqom music which blends traditional African sounds with house music, will issue a statement later Monday, it added.

The clip was subsequently deleted from her Instagram profile.

Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Twitter she was “absolutely horrified” by the assault.

A slew of high-profile women in the entertainment industry have posted messages of support for 24-year-old Wodumo, whose real name is Bongekile Simelane.

“My heart is really sad for Babes Wodumo and no women should have to go through this,” wrote DJ Tira on her Instagram.