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The sex that never was : ‘Fingergate’ scandal laid to rest

This article was originally published on page 3 of The Star on November 03, 2007

The sex that never was
November 3, 2007

By Kashiefa Ajam and Janet Smith

After a week of media frenzy over an alleged sexual assault in the Big Brother Africa house, an exclusive viewing to the Saturday Star shows that this never happened.

Newspaper reports alleged that Tanzanian housemate Richard Bezuidenhout forced himself on Nigeria’s Ofunneka Molokwu and almost had sex with his girlfriend in the house, Angolan Tatiana Durao, while all three were in a highly drunken state.

Carl Fischer, M-Net’s head of original programming, has said that alcohol will be banned for the last week of the show because the housemates had in this incident consumed too much, requiring paramedics to intervene.

Bezuidenhout, Molokwu and Durao are the only housemates remaining. The winner of $100 000 (about R650 000) will be announced next Sunday.

The Saturday Star viewed the material- taken from live footage archived last Saturday afternoon – and saw that Bezuidenhout was indeed in bed with Molokwu and Durao, but that Durao had passed out, while Molokwu was engaging in consensual sexual activity with him.
Viewers had alleged that, after stripping the two women, Bezuidenhout had sexually assaulted Molokwu, who, it was claimed, was comatose.

M-Net has stated that a sexual encounter did indeed occur, but insisted that it was consensual.
Earlier this week, the advocacy group Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre to End Violence Against Women was said to be considering sending a lawyer’s letter to the broadcaster to demand unedited footage of the incident for perusal by experts in sexual violence.

But, after viewing the footage on Friday, Lisa Vetten, of Tshwaranang, said: “In relation to Ofunneka there is no sexual assault there – it looks very consensual. I think that in relation to Tatiana, I would have been concerned if he tried to have sex with her, but it appears that once he put her on the bed and she continued to demonstrate a lack of interest, he left her alone. I’m satisfied that nothing untoward happened.”
M-Net said earlier this week that a fishing game which led to the three-in-a-bed incident had involved alcohol, but the viewing revealed that Big Brother’s instructions were that housemates “sip” the cocktails after catching a fish, while the participants are clearly heard to be urging each other to “gulp” the drinks..

Shortly thereafter, the four housemates – including Maureen Namatovu of Uganda, who was evicted the day after the incident – are seen collapsing on the floor on top of each other, laughing uproariously. Bezuidenhout then simulated sex standing behind Durao, but both are fully clothed.

He referred to his penis as “a weapon from Tanzania” and posed like a soldier shooting a machine-gun. “Tell them how nice Zanzibar is,” he said to Durao.

“I’m going to bump you all before you leave this house,” he added.

Bezuidenhout, who is newly married, then scooped up Durao, with whom he had already had consensual sex in the house, and carried her to the bedroom, suggesting he would like to have sex with her again. She said “no” and then passed out.

A few minutes later, after Molokwu had arrived in the bedroom and vomited repeatedly, Bezuidenhout lay between the two women under the sheet. Durao was also under the sheet, apparently asleep. Molokwu grabbed Bezuidenhout’s face, trying to kiss him, but he refused.

He then turned his back on her playfully, and she grabbed his crotch and rubbed herself against his body. This activity went on for several minutes.

Bezuidenhout laughed and giggled throughout the encounter with Molokwu, which was cut short when paramedics arrived in the bedroom. They removed Durao for medical attention, and Bezuidenhout was escorted out.
“There are strict guidelines for the producers on the breaking of any house rules,” explained Fischer when asked whether M-Net would have intervened had Bezuidenhout indeed been sexually assaulting any of the women. “Even if nothing raunchy is going on, there is quite a fine line defining at which point we would intervene.”

Getting drunk is not against the rules of the reality show. Big Brother Africa is regarded as adult content and is restricted on parental control.

Contrary to reports, M-Net did not close down its internet forum after the incident was reported earlier this week.


24 Responses to “The sex that never was : ‘Fingergate’ scandal laid to rest”

  1. i have respect for ofunneka but regarding the fingergate incident,its most unfortunate.

  2. i believe ofunneka concurred to richard’s advances.we should also take into account effect of undiluted Russian’s vodka intake by HM.i wonder who will be the winner considering the scandal each HM is involved in.

  3. wow…so rape is OK in africa??
    I feel a little less guilty about living in the first world now at least.

  4. So if if it was soooo CONSENTUAL why did they not show it on the daily highlights or the UNCUT show on friday? BB is such an oxymoron….BOOOOOO

  5. ‘Proud American’, cant you read? There was so rape or even the slightest sexual assault, Ofunneka consented to getting fingered!! Dont feel guilty about living in the first world, life is great in Africa..we don’t need anyone’s pity or feelings of guilt.

  6. the fact that ofennuka didn’t have any boy friend right from the beginning leave alot to be desired ,she is not attractive to all the young men in there,so she can only approach aman when drunk otherwise i can’t blame her for doing anything under the disguise of alcohol at her age she should know what is to be done and the limit with all the instructions given for ricahrd he is still young and attractive remember first day he enterd the house almost all the girls went for him only when he said he si a married man then the girls had to cool off

  7. what a bunch of hogwash from MNET…typical MALE and all in the name of entertainment….MNET supports abuse

  8. I didnt know that the issue was that serious as to legal advocancy to end violence against women intervening and demanding the footage of the incedent.

    I do appreciate concerns by viewers and organisations. But if being drunk is not regarded as crossing boundaries in the BB house. Then nothing can be done as the whole episode happened under influence of alcohol

  9. It is all about self respect.One only allows herself or himself to get drunk only to get out of control.We all know our limitations to which we can allow ourselves not to lose control.What happenned certainly does not depict morales we have learnt as Africans.So let us just say that it is unfortunate that any of the three will be taking the prize! Prize for what by the way??

  10. hahaha what u wanted to see has happened hehehe but i dont know y u complain. Thank God our ‘untouchables’ r out coz to be among though lunatics, they have guts hahaha. I laughed and still laughing, they removed the good guys and gals to leave the ‘crazy’

  11. i thot it was a fluke not a finger issue. But I think she is charged to get on down. Avoid her boy friend. Nva saw ha change menstrual sani ware

  12. I wonder what miss”true african woman”will say if she sees the tape.She made such a big hullabaloo about Jeff “slapping her”.I concur, the untouchables should be glad they were out of the house.Lerato fan foreva!

  13. The above article is flawed. Am glad i don’t reside in africa. you people are evil. She repeatedly vomited as used in the article meant she couldn’t be conscious enough to give consent. Here people go to jail for such things. Think if its your sista y’ ll saying its not rape. Because she let herself get drunk doesn’t give anyone the right to take advantage of her. That is why laws are made. I guess it will be fair to inform people ahead of 2010 that southafrica has no rape laws.

  14. It is important to set the facts straight.What happened on this program is a profound moral tragedy that will continue to have severe implications for African women,and women all over the world.The debasement of women is NOT a Nigerian traditional norm.What happened is rape of a kind that carries a stiff penalty under Nigeria’s penal code system.
    As a Nigerian man,proud to be raised by a beautiful woman,I hold immense respect for womanhood.This BB episode is a colossal shame to Africans.For those who rightly worry about the nature of women’s status in Africa,please note that South Africa has never been a moral guage for the rest of Africa.Certain things happen in that country that the rest of Africa,at least Nigerians,find completely appalling.What a shame!

  15. y’all shouldnt blame anybody but the housemates who didnt c it fit 2drink responsibly!!

  16. Well I think ofunneka wanted it which goes to show she was pretending throughout her stay in the BB2 house.Thats one thing about alcohol it brings out the true person in you.She must have been admiring richard all along. And as for richard I can only hope hie wife will read the handwritting on the wall He is somebody that would always want to experiment sex with other women their relationship cannot last.

  17. frankly i think richard shld be shot..!

  18. WefRUi hi! hice site!

  19. live richard alone please…

  20. Drunk people having sex. Shocking.

  21. I can’t seem to find the fongerate video is it still on the internet

  22. I personally think there is a lot of cultural erosion in Africa. No matter how you will look at it, this is disgraceful. We never thought people would stoop so low to do things so private in the eye’s of the world. Leave other things to those that accept them in their societies. This is not it. Big Brother Show is immoral and a vehicle encouraging immorality, promiscuity, fornication and adultery which will eventually lead to spread of HIV and Aids. Africans who see Big Brother as a way of advancement should realize that it is that kind of “advancement” that led the so called civilized countries to the high level homosexuality & its official recognition. Let us save our children.

  23. i think u over exagerate things,what is rape? rape is forcingly persisiting ur oposite sex,ofunneka responded and u should hear her comment about it,she excuses drunkness,she was sermi conscious and partious knew what was happening,and dont act like u have not experienced something like that before urself or someone u know.

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