On Monday the former SA’s Got Talent winner and the female cousin of his alleged victim appeared briefly in court where they were released on a warning.
Bhemgee, 55, and the 30-year-old woman, who cannot be identified in order to protect the teen, made their first appearance at the Mitchells Plain Magistrates’ Court.
The two were ordered to be back in court on 10 July while the investigation is ongoing.
Bhemgee and the woman were arrested on Saturday at his home in Cuckoo Street, Rocklands, which is also the Spes Bona klopse kamer.
On Monday, friends of Bhemgee, who lives on the same property, claimed he and the teen “had been more than friends,” but that the girl’s mother did not approve of the relationship.
One man told the Daily Voice: “I am one of his best friends and when there is shouting or even dancing taking place on those wooden floors inside his home, we can hear it.
“How can they say he and that woman kidnapped this teen when she is a regular there?
“The day the police arrested him, he showed them a letter which the girl had written to him where she said sorry because of how her mother treated their relationship.”
He says it would have been impossible for the accused to keep the girl against her will.
“James helps everyone, if they need a warm meal or even just to shower, so there are people constantly moving in and around the house.
“Neither he nor the cousin have a car, so how is it that they kidnapped the girl, or hid her or kept her against her will?
“A relative made that case and gave the teen a hiding because of the relationship and now they want to say he beat her up.”
Another friend said they know Bhemgee to be a “ladies’ man”.
He says the “young girls” like Bhemgee because they think he will be their sugar daddy.
“They think he still has money. We do not think he is capable of rape. Even his ex-girlfriends are shocked (about the charges) because they don’t know him to be such a person.”
Bhemgee, an opera singer, became a household name in 2010 when he won SA’s Got Talent and R250 000 in prize money.