Zulu Nation is singing a new tune about Afrika Bambaataa.
The organization founded by Bambaataa to promote art and unity in the hip hop community issued a surprise apology Tuesday to the men who say the Bronx music pioneer sexually abused them — just weeks after it attacked their credibility and bizarrely claimed the Daily News’ reports on the allegations were part of a government conspiracy.
“We extend our deepest and most sincere apologies to the many people who have been hurt by the actions of Afrika Bambaataa and the subsequent poor response of our organization to allegations leveled against him,” said the statement signed by nearly three dozen Zulu Nation leaders representing chapters across the United States and as far away as New Zealand.
The statement said Zulu Nation is committed to seeking justice and healing for Bambaataa’s alleged victims and will educate its members and communities about sexual abuse.
Afrika Bambaataa: ‘I never abused nobody’
Zulu Nation issued a statement last month that denied the allegations and called Ronald Savage, the one-time member known as “Bee Stinger” who was the first to publicly accuse Bambaataa of sexual abuse, “mentally challenged.” The denial also claimed the Daily News was working with the government and the NYPD to discredit Zulu Nation.
“I think the letter is sincere but it’s too little too late,” Savage said. “They should have done this in the beginning instead of disrespecting me and the Daily News.”
Savage and three other men have accused Bambaataa of sexual abuse. Bambaataa has denied the allegations.
Bambaataa’s attorney Charles Tucker Jr. declined to comment Tuesday. “I don’t know enough about the motivation behind this letter to make a statement,” Tucker Jr. said.
Zulu Nation to focus on abuse vics in wake of Bambaataa scandal
Zulu King EL One, the group’s coordinator for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, told the Daily News the earlier statements were issued by older leaders who were personal friends of Bambaataa. He said younger leaders and the bulk of the membership believe the allegations are credible.
“Most of the membership would like to hear what the victims have to say,” said Zulu King EL One, whose real name is Robert Rodriguez.
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