Afrika Bambaataa, the music legend recently confronted with decades-old allegations of sexual assault, is no longer the leader of the Zulu Nation, the hip hop advocacy group he founded, the organization announced on Friday.
The Zulu Nation did not specifically name Bambaataa in its statement, but made several references to child molestation, rape, and what it called a “trial by social media” for one of its esteemed members.
According to the Zulu Nation statement, a "significant restructure" of the group has ensured 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."
In April, former members of the Zulu Nation came forward, alleging Bambaataa sexually abused them between the late 1970s and early 1990s. Three people told BuzzFeed News that the Bronx native had abused boys.
The Zulu Nation said it will also focus efforts on “providing support for victims of abuse, rape, and molestation, and working more closely on other social issues existing in communities such as drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental health."
The group also referred to what it said was a sense of conflict in deciding whether to try to authenticate claims of sexual abuse or to condemn the accused members based solely on testimonies.
"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," the statement read.
"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."
The nation went on to say, “We also need to be mindful that if these allegations are true that victims discussing this in a public forum has not come easily.”
The Zulu Nation, which has national and international chapters, said that it welcomes constructive advice on how it can best move forward in ways that serve the community. It apologized for previous leaders who “have been ineffective at being able to respond in a way which our members and associates deserve of us.”
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the Zulu Nation for more information.