Africa

Big Brother Africa evicts housemate for punching woman

Lerato Sengadi (l) and Hannington Kuteesa (r) argue before the punch was thrown
Image caption Lerato Sengadi (l) was punched during a heated argument with Hannington Kuteesa (r)

A housemate has been evicted from Big Brother Africa for punching a female contestant, following criticism from women's rights activists.

South African producers had initially allowed Hannington Kuteesa to remain on the show, despite his assault on Lerato Sengadi on Tuesday.

Ms Sengadi's family had planned a protest to demand his removal.

Activists had said letting him remain could perpetuate the belief that African men had the right to hit women.

TV company M-Net had told Mr Kuteesa, from Uganda, to apologise to South African Ms Sengadi during one of their recordings.

It also provided counselling to both contestants.

But on Friday, the housemates in Johannesburg were told that after "very careful consideration and consultation", Mr Kuteesa had been evicted.

Big Brother said he had "anger problems" and advised him to continue seeing a therapist.

Ms Sengadi was also admonished for insulting Mr Kuteesa during a heated argument before the punch was thrown.

She was banned from drinking alcohol and put on dishwashing duties for the remainder of the contest.

'Immoral'

Wendy Isaacs from People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa) welcomed the decision to remove Mr Kuteesa but told the BBC: "It should have happened sooner - the incident happened on Tuesday.

"For the young girl to have been in the same environment for that long is inappropriate.

"We hope that M-Net and such shows now realise that they have a high responsibility to guard against perpetuating stereotypes about women abuse, especially in a society where such abuse is prevalent."

This is the fifth version of Big Brother Africa, which began with 14 contestants from different countries.

It is broadcast across the continent on satellite TV and some terrestrial channels, and is one of the continent's most popular reality TV programmes.

In some countries, politicians and church leaders have called for previous editions to be taken off air, saying it is immoral, pointing in particular to naked shower scenes.

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