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Exploiting the poor

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The video of the interview with the so-called HIV positive rapist, David Kaise, has since gone viral

FILE PHOTO

I DON’T know how many of you read the story in the newspaper yesterday about the journalist in Diepkloof, Soweto, who used “actors” to produce a documentary for the BBC on HIV/Aids.

Basically what happened was the BBC reporter did a documentary in which a man is shown claiming to have raped and infected dozens of women with HIV. The reporter has now gone to ground as it emerged that the story was false and police were closing in on him.

The documentary was aired by the BBC last week.

The video of the interview with the so-called HIV positive rapist, David Kaise, has since gone viral.

Another person in the video, identified as Portia, claims that Kaise was her former lover who had also raped her and that she was now HIV positive.

Now for the best part for making these claims Portia and David were paid R250 and R350 respectively.

I don’t know much about the film industry, but what I do know I get from watching movies myself, like the film Notting Hill. The movie released in 1999 basically tells the story of William Thacker (Hugh Grant) who is a London book store owner whose humdrum existence is thrown into romantic turmoil when a famous American actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) appears in his shop. A chance encounter over spilled orange juice leads to a kiss that blossoms into a full-blown affair. You know, your usual happily ever after stuff.

One particular scene stood out for me in the movie. Will asks Anna out on a date before remembering that he is expected at his sister Honey’s birthday party. Anna surprises him by offering to be his date. At the house of Will’s friends Max and Bella, Anna fits in perfectly as they all share stories. Will’s one friend corners Anna and asks her what she does. She replies that she is an actress. Max then goes into the whole spiel of his friends from university that are also in the industry and bemoans the fact that some of his friends have been in the industry for years and are barely scraping by. Then he goes on to ask Anna about the pay in movies and how much she got for her last film. She replies, “$15 million.”

Now I can understand a Hollywood star commanding that amount of money.

I have to point out that I definitely do not have any Hollywood qualities but if I’m asked to act in an amateur film or documentary, don’t expect me to sign for R350. Don’t even call me to be an extra on the set for that amount of money!

I don’t know how much the reporter was paid. That is of no consequence to me. What is of consequence to me is that he has basically ruined both Portia and David’s lives.

Forever will they be branded. David as a serial rapist who infects woman with HIV so that he doesn’t have to die alone and Portia as having HIV.

Portia claims that she can’t even walk in the street without people pointing and cussing at her. Her boyfriend, who may have been assisting her financially, has also left her.

How one person and in essence a major media company can exploit the plight of the poor goes beyond me.

It also gives journalists who triple check every single fact before putting any information out there a bad name.

Trust me, there are many stories out there waiting to be told – there is no need to fabricate anything or exploit the poor for your own recognition.