A statement released today (May 6) by the Universal Zulu Nation announced internal restructuring and leadership changes in the wake of child molestation allegations against founder and hip-hop icon Afrika Bambaataa.
Without naming Bambaataa by name, the statement implies that the influential hip-hop collective’s former leader stepped down amidst internal investigations into his alleged sexual abuse of young men during the ’80s:
The Universal Zulu Nation wishes to announce that it is currently under new leadership by the International and Regional U.S. Zulu Leaders. This will involve a significant restructure and will feature an in-depth re-assessment of how the organization will function to better serve our communities. As part of this restructure ALL accused parties and those accused of covering up the current allegations of child molestation have been removed and have stepped down from their current positions.
The statement also pledges organizational and procedural changes that will assist "victims of abuse, rape and molestation."
Bambaataa and Zulu Nation affiliates previously responded to several recent accusations by saying accusers were lying and were part of government conspiracies. Today’s statement also cautions against the "trial by social media" apparently enacted against the Universal Zulu Nation:
As an organization we are in a very difficult position because we are being asked to condemn one of our founders based on testimony through social media alone. We cannot do this. We also cannot dismiss the comments of parties asserting they have been harmed. We have a duty to search for truth. We also need to be mindful that if these allegations are true that victims discussing this in a public forum has not come easily. We the Universal Zulu Nation wish to extend great sympathy to anyone affected by such issues. We know that respect and compassion need to be at the forefront of how we deal with such topics in the future, this has been a lesson in learning for us.
The public is asking for justice and we would welcome constructive suggestions on how that could be effectuated properly. At the moment it is unclear on how best to proceed, we would like to know how the claimants would like to take the matters further towards some form of resolution where the truth can be established. We can not legally speak on behalf of the parties in question in regard to the current allegations. Individuals must speak up for themselves & advice from their legal teams should be sought.
Read the full statement here.