Cape Town — A man identified only as David in the BBC documentary My Neighbour - The Rapist has denied the allegations made in the viral video feature, claiming he was coerced by filmmaker Golden Mtika into saying he was a serial rapist, Drum reports. In the documentary David claimed to be HIV-positive and that he raped more than 24 women in the Diepsloot community to deliberately spread the virus. "I know I am HIV (sic) so, I want to spread that HIV," he said.
Speaking to Drum, David claims that Mtika paid him to invent the lies. "That man said to me I must come up with a story because he has been covering murders. So I came up with the topic of rape, because he had done murders multiple times and he wanted something different. He then told me what to say. He had a script written on paper…he even read it to me first before we started shooting the documentary."
David added that he was under the impression that the documentary would not be broadcast in South Africa and that it was only going to be released in the UK. "Golden approached me…he told me we were doing a drama, and this drama wasn't going to be released in SA but in Britain ... So he told me that if it is accepted, he can pay me for it. So I asked him if this thing wouldn't cause me a problem and he said no, it won't reach South Africa."
David insisted that Mtika directed him to claim he was a serial rapist and that he was paid R350 to do so. "All those things that I say in the video are things Golden told me, all of them. I did it the way he wanted it done…even the white people said it was excellent."
Drum also spoke to Ndivhuwo Ramaphalala, who claimed to be David's ex-lover in the documentary. Ramaphalala corroborated David's claim that the pair never met before making the video feature. "That woman, I don't know her. I've never seen her with my own eyes. Even she doesn't know me. She probably only knows me by seeing me in that video. I don't know her, she is nothing to me," David said.
Ramaphalala added that Mtika had worked with her on one of his earlier documentaries. "It's not the first time he has come to me asking for such things. I did another one where he was discussing Zimbabweans coming to South Africa. He asked me to act like someone who comes from Zimbabwe."
The BBC has rejected David's claims that the documentary was a fabrication, saying in a statement to TimesLive: "The BBC has reviewed its production of the film which fully complies with our editorial standards. There was no scripting of interviews and all interviewees provided accounts with full consent. It is completely untrue that any money was paid to contributors to take part in this documentary. We stand by our journalism‚" the broadcaster said.
Diepsloot community committee members released a statement in contradiction to the BBC, alleging that Mtika and the committee had met with the people featured in the documentary, as well as with the police. "After long hours of deliberation on fact finding we came to the conclusion that the video was reckless and unbecoming and nothing on the video should be condoned or encouraged. Both parties were reckless‚ the stats reported were baseless and most of the facts said were unfounded. Although the reporter has been working hard to help police in previous cases‚ there was nothing that linked some of the footage to any rape‚" the committee's statement read.
According to TimesLive, Malawian-born Mtika has worked as a journalist for over ten years, describing himself on his LinkedIn profile as ".. a fixer for foreigner media and having previously covered stories mostly on township violence (mob justices). He says he has worked with retired journalists … from New York Times‚ Skynews Johannesburg as a fixer‚ etc." The 43-minute documentary shocked social media users upon its release, drawing strong reactions from those on Twitter.