M-Net responds as Big Brother Mzansi is engulfed in a sex scandal

By Drum Digital
14 April 2015

As rape allegations swirl and a contestant got booted, M-Net now says it doesn't know what happened in the camera-filled Big Brother Mzansi house which has once again become a shocking hotbed of scandal and controversy.

M-Net didn't respond earlier on Tuesday to a media enquiry from Channel24 with specific questions, but on Tuesday evening in a statement said Mzansi Magic, one of the TV channels supplied to MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform where 24/7 Big Brother Mzansi TV channels are also running "is continuing to investigate the recent incident in the Big Brother house".

Although multiple cameras are installed throughout the house - even the shower and toilet - M-Net now claims that "at this stage it is not exactly clear what transpired" between the male and female contestant who were both removed from the house.

The man was expelled for "misconduct" and the woman removed "for her well-being" from the tawdry reality show produced by Endemol South Africa which last year saw a man expelled after physical assaulting a woman - something M-Net then called "an isolated incident" and "not representative of its brand".

"Having suspected that there may have been an incident of sexual misconduct, Mzansi Magic acted by removing both individuals from the house," says M-Net in the terse statement.

It makes no mention of how M-Net is ensuring the safety and protecting the rest of the women remaining in the show where female participants are victimised in nearly every season of Big Brother Africa and Big Brother Mzansi.

"Any incident that affects the health and well-being of the contestants is treated seriously and action will always be taken swiftly and appropriately," says Mzansi Magic.

This is also not the first time that a rape controversy has hit a locally produced version of Big Brother.

In 2007 The Week reported that a similar incident took place in the Big Brother Africa 2 house in South Africa.

"The sight of a blind-drunk young woman being manhandled by a Big Brother housemate in what may be the most public rape ever has turned the stomachs of millions of television viewers," The Week reported in 2007. According to the report the previous incident was broadcast live across Africa, however M-Net was quick to respond saying if a "non-consensual physical relationship" began, the producers - Endemol SA - would have intervened.

In 2012 Brazilian police investigated similar allegations of sexual assault aired on the country's Big Brother reality TV show. Echaniz, a 31-year-old male model, was booted off the show after allegations emerged that he had engaged in sexual behaviour with contestant Monique Amin after she'd passed out.

*Pending the investigation into the matter Channel24 has taken the editorial decision not to publish the names of those involved due to legal reasons.



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