The brand new Afrikaans reality show Kwarantyn which premiered on a kykNET pop-up channel (DStv 149) earlier this month has found itself in the midst of controversy.
The show, which is broadcast live 24-hours on its own channel, follows two families in two houses for 50 days as they compete against each other to win a cash prize of R250 000.
Host Ferdinand Rabie on Friday afternoon made a live announcement informing the contestants that Jana le Roux has been disqualified from the show for her racist comment.
“I expected it. I’m sorry. It was wrong,” Jana said and asked her family to continue without her.
“Learn from this. We have to build a nation,” Braam addressed viewers shortly before the family prayed together.
Manie le Roux, who was in hospital for an emergency surgery, returned to the house earlier on Friday.
Jana left the house within an hour of the announcement. Both the Le Roux and Scheepers families wished her a tearful farewell.
kykNET released a statement shortly after saying: “Not only was the racist remark offensive and deplorable, but it is also in breach of contract. Contestants are properly briefed ahead of entering the house, about the consequences of unacceptable behaviour.”
Karen Meiring, director of M-Net’s kykNET channels, added: “The use of a racial slur is not only intolerable, discriminatory, in conflict with our country’s constitution, but also not in line with the spirit of the programme and the values of kykNET. We offer our apologies for the offence and hurt that was caused to all South Africans.”
Watch the announcement here:
The Big Brother type show is hosted by former Big Brother SA winner Ferdinand Rabie and pits the contestants against each other in various challenges whilst hundreds of cameras capture every moment.
A clip from one of the challenges that took place on Thursday night has surfaced online in which a member of the Le Roux family uses the k-word after their team was beaten by the Scheepers family.
After their 18 versus 24 defeat, mom Jana le Roux can be heard saying: “Wow. Dit is ‘n k*****pak.” (Wow. That’s a k***** beating) The derogatory and racist term is often used in Afrikaans to describe an “overwhelming defeat” or sometimes even a “physical beating”, reports the Dictionary of South African English.
The short clip ends with everyone gasping in shock and a member of the Scheepers family jumping up.
In another clip from Friday morning, Jana can be seen discussing the incident with her family. She says in Afrikaans: “It’s out. Everyone knows what happened last night. I want to apologise to you. I’ve really disappointed you all. I did go to the Scheepers family last night and I did apologise to them.”
kykNET was due to have a two-hour press event on Friday morning in which Karen Meiring, director of M-Net’s kykNET channels, would be discussing the channel’s upcoming shows with the media, however it was cancelled.
Karen told members of the media present: “What happened last night in Kwarantyn is completely unacceptable. The Kwarantyn issue requires our full attention today. Unfortunately we have to postpone this because we have to take issue in terms of what happened last night and we have to handle that.”
She added: “It’s really a serious issue for us and we will let you know the outcome. To sit with you for two hours honestly wouldn’t feel right to me in terms of what is happening right now. Today we have the responsibility to address something and we feel very, very serious about it and that is what we are going to do now.”
The Afrikaans TV channel on DStv soon after released a statement to Channel24 stating: “Thursday evening one of the contestants in the reality show Kwarantyn made a racist comment that is unacceptable and is in conflict with the constitution, the spirit of the programme and the values of kykNET.
“We apologise for any offence and hurt that was caused to our viewers. kykNET is committed to a non-racial society, free of discrimination. kykNET does not hesitate to tackle and highlight historically and topically complex issues. The situation calls for decisive action and the outcome will be managed with urgency.”
South Africa’s Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCCSA) told Channel24 on Friday afternoon in response to a media request that it had received three complaints and has opened a case.
“We received three official complaints and we are awaiting the broadcaster’s response,” the BCCSA said.
The show also made headlines earlier this week when one of the contestants, Manie le Roux, was rushed to hospital and had emergency surgery to remove his appendix.
The Le Roux family team consists of dad, Braam le Roux (50), mom, Jana le Roux (49), and children, Lisa (25) and Manie (19). Lisa’s fiancé Adriaan Brie (26) and cousin Heinrich Olwage (25) are also part of the team.
The Scheepers family include mom, Avril Scheepers (46), aunt Pamela Anthia Okkers (53), and Avril’s son, Austin Scheepers (19). The Scheepers team also includes Kel-cee Hendriks (20) and Ethan Jade Hendriks (18) and Caryn Cloete (21).