Content Warning: The following article contains discussion of sexual assault.
Die Antwoord’s adopted son has accused the band of physical and sexual abuse, exploitation and slavery.
Gabriel ‘Tokkie’ du Preez and his sister were adopted by Yolandi Visser (aka Anri du Toit) and Ninja (aka Watkin Jones) when he was nine-years-old. He is now 20 and no longer living with the musicians. His sister is now 14 and is still in the pair’s custody, although she lives full-time with another family in Johannesburg.
The allegations first came to light last week when du Preez shared a video interview he had made with the band’s former filmmaker Ben Jay Crossman. In an interview with South African news outlet News24 published earlier this week (April 24), du Preez accused the duo of “adopt[ing] me to be a slave”. “They made me feel like I was actually a slave,” he said. “They made me feel like I wasn’t really being loved.”
A patient of a rare skin disease called hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, du Preez said: “They made me believe I was the devil. They made me wear more and made me believe that I could burn people in hell and that I am the king of hell. They told me that I could bring darkness upon the world.”
He also alleged that Jones and du Toit forced him and his sister to undress in front of them anytime they were bought new clothes. If they refused to do so, they would be punished.
Du Preez claimed that, when he was 13-years-old, du Toit asked him to spend time with her in a room at a house party while she was naked. “Yolandi called me into the room, she was naked and vomiting all over,” he said. “She was laying with her legs open like the [sex] doll I had in my room.
“The worst part was seeing my supposed-to-be mother or adopted mother being naked in a room, drunk […] experiencing my mother being drunk, naked and wanting me to spend time with her in the room while she was naked. I found that very disturbing.”
He continued to claim that his sister no longer wants to visit Jones and du Toit because, each time she does, they ask her to get naked. “Last December, Ninja and them apparently took my sister into a sauna and everyone was naked in the sauna and wanted my sister to get naked too,” he said.
“Why does Ninja want to see my sister naked? She is so small. It is pretty weird, it feels like a pervy vibe to me that Ninja wants to have with my sister. Every time when he phones the family, they ask if my sister is pregnant yet and that is not going to happen, not on my watch.”
In the video interview with Crossman, du Preez alleged that he had stabbed his older brother three times, leaving him needing hospital treatment, and that Jones and du Toit’s response was to “congratulate” him. “They were like, ‘Hey, good job man, I didn’t actually know you were going to be a man. I didn’t actually expect you to stab your brother, that’s amazing’,” he said.
When the above accusations were put to the duo’s agent Scumeck Sabottka by NMEthe representative denied them adding: “Die Antwoord don’t agree with Tokkie’s statements.”
The duo formed in Cape Town in 2008 and have released five albums, including 2020’s ‘House Of Zef’.
Last year, Die Antwoord were removed from the ALT+LDN line-up “by mutual agreement” between the band and the London festival following backlash from a number of artists on the bill, following past allegations of abuse, racism and homophobia which they have always denied.