[imagesource: Sebastian Kim]
Waddy Jones and Anri du Toit are known around the world as Ninja and Yolandi Visser (or Vi$$er).
The duo have achieved incredible success as Die Antwoord, as well as courting plenty of controversy along the way.
Over the past three weeks, claims of child abuse and exploitation have come to the fore following the efforts of the group’s former filmmaker, Ben Jay Crossman.
Firstly, Crossman recorded a 44-minute interview with Die Antwoord’s foster son, Gabriel ‘Tokkie’ du Preez, detailing the more than a decade of abuse and neglect Tokkie suffered.
Tokkie and his sister were adopted by the duo when he was nine. Some of the basics of what he said via Consequence of Sound:
“They adopted me to be a slave,” he recalled about the experience. “They made me feel like I wasn’t really being loved.” Now 20, he is back in his childhood home, while his 14-year-old sister no longer lives with du Toit and Jones as well.
He told News24 that the abuse and exploitation began when he was allegedly forced to record videos degrading his biological family for being poor. According to du Preez, who suffers from a rare skin disease called hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, they made him feel like he was the devil…
Even more shocking, du Preez alleged du Toit once exposed herself to him when he was 13 years old…
On a similar note, du Preez claimed his sister recently told him that she no longer wants to visit Jones and du Toit in Cape Town because they asked her to get naked.
Here’s the full interview with Tokkie:
Following on from that story, Crossman did his own interview with News24 detailing what he saw.
That one is behind a paywall (a subscription costs just R75 a month) but here are some quotes:
“I got caught up in the lights and let my better judgement get clouded by my own ambitions. I knew Die Antwoord was damaging people, but in a sense, I was damaged as well and became blinded by the lights and caught up in the hype of their spell,” says Crossman, who is now willing to testify against the duo…
He says he also witnessed violence in the band on a few occasions. “Yolandi (Du Toit) made a video to her little adopted girl (Du Preez’s minor sister), talking about stabbing Ninja and Ninja hitting her. The girl told her carers that she was affected and confused by these videos, and I believe that this in itself is predatory behaviour.”
After that story broke, Die Antwoord’s agent in Germany turned down the chance to answer questions and simply stated that the duo “don’t agree with Tokkie’s statements”.
Yesterday, a third story broke, once again covered by News24, focusing on claims of child neglect against Jones and du Toit.
The claims have been made by a couple who say they have spent time looking after the duo’s biological daughter, who was 15 at the time:
Jones and Du Toit would invite the couple to their house. When they arrived, they would find their minor daughter on her own at the house.
“We would be there to look after or chill with [their daughter]. She was left alone all the time [before we met]. After we became friends, they would rather just dump her at our place.”
…”They were neglectful. They used any excuse to just dump her [their daughter],” Brooke [not her real name] says.
That full story is once again behind a paywall – you can sign up to read it here.
When reached for comment, the duo’s German agent said they “do not agree with these allegations and there is no comment”.
Authorities are now involved with Crossman having provided an affidavit about what he witnessed during his time working with the duo.
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