Scandal rocks Boland town
A town once rocked by the country's worst earthquake is now feeling the aftershocks of a titillating scandal over an explicit photograph of two women residents and a sex toy.
Veteran musician Ginger Baker - arguably the most infamous inhabitant of Tulbach in the Western Cape - has been charged with crimen injuria for parading the photograph before a goggle-eyed audience in the town's main street.
Police this week took a statement from Baker, a notorious hellraiser, after one of the women in the photograph claimed it had been "doctored".
The image has laid bare a tale of love, hate and obsession, and thrust into the limelight a bizarre poem penned by Baker to his nemesis, Lindiwe Noko.
Noko used to be Baker's personal assistant. The pretty 25-year-old former bank clerk was sacked for allegedly fleecing the 70-year-old of R400000.
She appears in the photograph, reclining while straddled by a clothed female friend wearing what appears to be a strap-on sex accessory.
Baker allegedly had townsfolk all a-twitter when he waved the photograph around in public three weeks ago. He told passers-by that while Noko's family believed she was spending the weekend with him, she was having a fling with another woman - and he had found the photographs on his laptop to prove it.
Noko caused a stir after being charged with theft when she declared in court that the relationship between her and Baker was intimate - a claim he denies to this day - and it emerged that he had once showered her with gifts, including a diamond ring. The trial is continuing.
Detective Constable Maxwell Nkalane confirmed that he had taken statements from Noko and Baker and said his investigation was complete.
"It is now in the hands of the chief prosecutor who will decide whether or not Mr Baker will be charged," he said.
Noko confirmed laying the charge against Baker and said the photograph, taken at a friend's 30th birthday party, had been altered to feature a sex toy.
Speaking this week for the first time since the fallout between her and Baker, Noko said the former drummer with rock band Cream was obsessed with her and was trying to settle an old score.
"Ginger is not the innocent and gullible saint that he pretends to be," an emotional Noko said. "He makes me out to be this sleazy manipulator while he has put me through absolute hell for the past two years with regards to this case. He won't leave me alone. It's like he has this sick obsession with me."
She was shocked to hear about the photograph from the police who arrived at her house. "They told me that my aunt had sent them after receiving numerous calls from people who know her and know me. They told her Ginger Baker was busy doing this in town.
"He still SMSes me. He even writes me letters and poems lashing out at me while declaring his undying love to me at the same time."
Baker married a 29-year-old Zimbabwean nurse, Kudzai Machokoto, his fourth wife, in a quiet civil ceremony almost two months ago.
"In the hand-written pages of his poem, he tells me that even though he is married to Kudzai, he still loves me. He tells me that it should never have been her, it should have been me he married," Noko said.
Baker acknowledged sending Noko a lengthy poem, but said he wrote it in 2008.
Part of it reads: "I still can't believe what you did to me; It was dirty, mean, evil and cruel; You betrayed my trust, and I just couldn't see; 'Uncle daddy', to you, was a silly old fool."
Baker said he had found 300 photographs of Noko on his laptop.