‘Sisters’ hit Big Brother for delayed eviction

2010-09-19 14:19

Women’s rights organisations are ­disgusted at M-Net because it took the broadcaster three days to kick out a Big ­Brother contestant after he punched a female housemate in the face.

M-Net says, however, that on Tuesday, directly after the attack, it started a process to defuse the situation.

Two days ago Hannington Kuteesa of Uganda was given two hours to pack his belongings and leave the house after he had assaulted South Africa’s Lerato ­Sengadi on Tuesday night.

The two contestants had been arguing about a duty before the violence ­erupted. Kuteesa was reprimanded by Big Brother and forced to apologise.

Wendy Isaacs, the spokesperson for ­People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), told City Press her organisation was currently supporting ­Sengadi’s family.

“M-Net should have fired Kuteesa ­immediately. They should have ­informed Lerato of her right to lay a charge. Her human rights have been trampled on and a law was contravened.

“It is a crime to assault a person,” said Isaacs.

Lisa Vetten, spokesperson for the Tshwaranang Legal Centre, said the ­incident was not only violent but also exhibited sexism.

She agreed with Isaacs that M-Net should have kicked Kuteesa out ­immediately.

“There is no excuse for what he has done.”

Her organisation tried to encourage a society without violence, said Vetten, but violence was portrayed on TV ­without immediate sanctions against the perpetrator.

“One would have thought that M-Net would have learned by now that if they seek controversy on TV to increase viewer numbers, they should be able to handle those situations if they get out of control.

“Bad behaviour is no excuse when you chase high viewer numbers.

“And it remains a crime to assault ­another ­person.”

Lani Lombard, M-Net’s communications manager, said a psychologist was called in immediately to evaluate everybody in the house.

“She proposed that we offer a course on anger control and she did interviews with everyone.”

It was important, Lombard said, that both parties involved in the fist fight be held responsible.

Hannington was evicted because he had ­contravened the rules in terms of ­violence.

“Steps were also taken against ­Lerato. She is no longer allowed to use alcohol, she may not nominate people and she was given extra house duties.”

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