ENTERTAINMENT
05/07/2018 16:07 SAST | Updated 05/07/2018 16:07 SAST

Malema On Fifi Cooper: We Couldn't Sit Back And Watch Injustice Prevail

'It's not about an artist but about making sure everyone is treated fairly.'

FifiCooper/Instagram

EFF leader Julius Malema says he first heard about rapper Fifi Cooper when news broke that her previous record label, Ambitiouz Entertainment, had successfully sued her and won the rights to all her music.

Malema was speaking at the party's press conference to address various issues, including the Sars inquiry and the ongoing public hearings on land expropriation without compensation.

Read: Fifi Cooper Can Now Perform Music Released Under Ambitiouz Entertainment

As per an interdict granted in November by the high court in Johannesburg, Fifi was not allowed to claim ownership of the copyright to songs she recorded while part of the Ambitiouz stable.

She was ordered to return all the songs to the label or delete them from any media platforms in her possession, such as memory sticks. Fifi also had to pay damages for infringing on the label's copyright and pay the legal costs of the case.

Read: Here's What People Think Of That Ambitiouz Law Suit Against Fifi Cooper

The interdict came months after Fifi had resigned from the label without a valid clearance certificate.

Malema told the media that when he first heard about it in the news, he didn't know who Fifi was but he could not believe it was possible for someone to be treated like that.

"I was on the road with Floyd [Shivambu] and Mbuyiseni [Ndlozi], driving from Metsimaholo, and we hear in the news that the court has found that Fifi has been banned from singing her own songs. So I questioned how possible all this was.

"Me being from the village, I didn't even know who Fifi was but I was worried about the injustice I was seeing in all of this. We looked her up to see this young woman being denied to sing her songs. Then I said to the spokesperson of the EFF [Ndlozi], we must contact this young woman and help her because this is an injustice," Malema told the media.

He said he did not know the people denying Fifi the rights to her music, but decided that the EFF could not sit back and watch an injustice taking place.

Read: EFF Wants To Help Fifi Cooper And People Want To Vote Already

"I didn't know Ambitiouz Entertainment. I only know two music companies, Kalawa Jazmee and Mabala Noise, but we had to do something because we stand against any form of injustice. I believed that the reason there was such a madness ruling was probably that she could not get a lawyer to defend her in court and this was the reality. So we went in and defended her," he said.

As to how they did it, Malema said that although the label was reluctant to negotiate at first, they eventually agreed to an out-of-court settlement.

"We're all black people and they knew her songs help her put bread on her table. We told them they can't do that to her. We asked them to release her so she goes and continues to provide for her family and her child with those songs. We spoke, they agreed and they released Fifi," he said.

Malema insisted that their involvement was not about the artist but about an injustice she had been subjected to.

Following the recent agreement, Fifi, who said her career had nearly come to an end, said she could not wait to release her new album, "Take Me Back", just in time for Women's Month in August.

She said she was grateful to the EFF and Malema for standing up for her.

"When Jesus say yes, nobody can say no... I would like to thank [Julius Malema] and the EFF for helping me with the case. The war is almost over and I don't really know how to thank Mr Malema. It's been a very stressful year, and I'm very happy the case is over now! Now we can finally drop the album #Freedom," she posted on Instagram last week.

Fifi will now be able to perform the music she released under the Ambitiouz label. She is also free from the order granted against her.