Rapper K.O is suing the Gauteng government for R5 million over a 2020 COVID-19 advertisement. Image via @mrcashtime/Instagram

‘Feels insulted and abused’: K.O suing Gauteng premier for R5m

Rapper K.O is suing the Gauteng government for defamation of character for an ad portraying him as the novel Coronavirus.


Rapper K.O is suing the Gauteng government for R5 million over a 2020 COVID-19 advertisement. Image via @mrcashtime/Instagram

South African musician Ntokozo “K.O” Mdluli has slapped Gauteng premier David Makhura and two production companies with a R5 million lawsuit for defamation of character.

This comes after Makhura’s administration, Benya Media and Digital Characters published a video titled Kronikles of Hip Hop on social media platforms portraying the Sete hitmaker as the COVID-19 virus in July 2020.


According to Sunday World, the court papers reveal that the video was used as an educational promo to teach Gauteng citizens about observing COVID-19 protocols. However, the usage of K.O’s face and voice as the novel Covid-19 and or coronavirus is “unlawful and unconstitutional.”

The video, which was originally published by Characters Media on YouTube on 14 August in 2015, has nothing to do with COVID-19. The original video reads: “witness the return of the mischievous K.O as he is reunited with his arch-nemesis”

When republished in 2020, the Gauteng government gave it a new spin as it contained the following words:

“Hey! My boy! Tjo! Tjo! Tjo! Eazy. So many people. We have meat over there. I am going to have a good time infecting. Where there is a lot of people gathered, I’m there to infect them. Hey! hey hey! Can everyone in the house shout Covivi. Yeah you don’t see me, I’m going to infect 50 of you. And you will infect a hundred others. I’m pushing! The numbers are increasing. Ha! Ha! Ha!.”

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The publication further reports that K.O confirmed that he has filed a lawsuit against the premier, Digital Characters and Benya Media. He also said that he would not have agreed to the video even if he had been approached for permission.

“It is not in the public interest that the plaintiff [K.O] be made the face of a virus that has caused economic and social hardship across the globe.

“The plaintiff feels insulted and abused, and his self-esteem is impaired as a result of their [defendants] conduct. The plaintiff finds the video degrading, humiliating, insulting and reflects the plaintiff in a bad light and does not reflect the true state of affairs,” read the papers.

In 2014, K.O publically took an HIV test on Instagram to squash rumours about his health, SowetanLIVE reports. At the time, trolls had been attributing his drastic weight loss to the virus.

When the video came out in July 2020, K.O reportedly sent a letter of demand to the office of the premier and Benya Media but did not get a response. The Gauteng government did, however, release a statement on Twitter. Take a look…

K.O also sent another letter on 16 May demanding R5 million within 14 days, but the defendants failed to comply.

“Wherefore the plaintiff claims as follows against the first and third defendants: payment in the amount of R5 000 000 [R5-million), interest at 7.50% on the amount of R5 000 000 [R5-million] from [the] date of demand being 25 May 2021 to date of payment,” read the court papers.