Last week Die Antwoord were dropped from three festivals after old videos of them were leaked showing the group unforgivingly using racial slurs and allegedly committing a hate crime against Andy Butler of the band, ‘Hercules and Love Affair’ at Future Festival back in 2012. This week, our team recieved a Soundcloud link to a recorded phone call (included far below) between Ben Crossman, their former videographer and Tyson Royle, their Australian tour manager that further confirm the group haven’t been entirely truthful.
The videos which got the duo sacked from the ‘Life is Beautiful’, ‘Louder than Life’ and ‘Riot Festival’ lineups were released by their former videographer and photographer, Ben Crossman shortly after Die Antwoord (Anri Du Toit and Watkin Tudor Jones) faced some shocking accusations by Australian model and rapper Zheani Sparkes. Earlier this year, the young artist accused the group of trafficking, sexual misconduct and abuse. Zheani claimed to have everything on record and unleashed her accusations in a bombshell diss track and video called ‘The Question.’
Die Antwoord’s former videographer also claimed to have a lot of dirt on the group and gave Du Toit an ultimatum during a recorded phone call – participate in his documentary to address their behaviour and apologise to Andy Butler and Zheani Sparkes. When Du Toit declined, Crossman released the videos including the recorded phone conversation between himself and Du Toit.
Watkins released a statement shortly after addressing the leaked content which you can read here. In it, he accused Crossman of editing the videos to falsify his stories but in a statement to EDM.com, Crossman said the videos have not been tampered with, “the footage has not been doctored,” he told EDM.com. “Edwin from Edwins Generation on YouTube and Griffin the founder of Wat Kyk Jy both have the unedited clips and they can vouch that it is not doctored.”
Edwins Generation, a YouTuber who has been closely following the story has a comprehensive list of videos breaking down the whole saga including the controversial phone call between Crossman and Yolandi. His most recent video on the group is a strange look into the life of Die Antwoord, their family dynamics and why they feel they have the right to use racial slurs. Edwin also reaches out to some South African viewers to see if the country shares Die Antwoord’s sentiment – you can watch that video right here.
In the midst of all this Die Antwoord have quietly launched Zef TV on their YouTube channel– and the very first episode sees a young man in a balaclava mask (19-year-old photographer, Dune Tilley) asking the group if they are racists followed by a montage of pictures of Die Antwoord with what we can only assume to be “all their black friends.” The second episode (seen below) was released three days ago and seems, for once, to show Jones and Du Toit in normal light.
They address the incident in Adelaide, giving a far more in-depth explanation as to what took place that night according to them. And, wait for it – they apologise. But not directly to Andy Butler – just in general, for “the bad vibes.” They also acknowledge that they are often inappropriate with their friends but that’s just how they are. The story is somewhat in line with Ninja’s previous statement and features a video clip of Andy Butler in which he corroborates the incident before the one captured on camera, during breakfast on the Future Music Festival tour.
While their claims may be true that Butler was an annoyance in the days leading up to the incident, no one else has backed this up. Ben claims Die Antwoord also harassed Butler days before the actual attack, “I filmed Ninja piss into a beer bottle during an interview. The interviewers were freaked out and stopped filming. I continued to film as Yolandi poured Ninjas urine into a champagne glass then walk through the artist’s area. I had no idea where Yolandi was going until she found Andy Butler sitting on a couch. Yolandi threw Ninjas piss in Andys face! A few days later Yolandi made up a fake story of how she was sexually assaulted by Mr Butler in the ladies bathroom,” Ben’s latest Instagram post reads.
What exactly happened before that night is still not fully known but what is, is that Jones and Du Toit attacked Butler, and then tried to cover it up to by accusing him of sexual assault – why not just tell the truth? Why not take it up with the festival organisers? It’s quite clear in the video that the whole situation is ‘shits ‘n giggles’ for them. Du Toit is so obviously faking her tears it’s awkward to watch. And least we forget all the homophobic rants she hurled at Butler and the racial slurs from the second video? Screaming at the top of her lungs during a show Du Toit attacks someone in the crowd and proceeds to yell in Afrikaans “Get this fucking ‘black’ out of here.” Sorry Die Antwoord, nice try but you’ll have to do better than your half-arsed appolgies on your Zef TV.
Furthermore, another person has recently chimed in – their Australian tour manager who was with them that evening in Adelaide when they attacked Butler confirmed that the duo are spinning lies. In an unheard recorded phone call shared privately with us this week, Die Antwoord’s Australian tour manager, Tyson Royle is heard confirming that the accusations against Butler were falsified and that more girls may come forward after Zheani’s bombshell accusations earlier this year.
The Phone Call
Ben Crossman reached out to Tyson in this phone call with hopes that Tyson would come forward and participate in Edwins Generation’s new video and tell his side of the story. Tyson says that he had told Edwin that he would only speak off the record and said he already told him that what Die Antwoord have been saying “is bullshit.”
Tyson asks Ben what his plan is, and what he hopes to achieve by releasing all this footage to which Ben replies, “I want them to be accountable for what they have done and stop lying on a mass level and manipulating mass consciousness.”
Ben and Tyson discuss Die Antwoord’s strange behaviour directly after the incident at Future Festival in 2012. Tyson says Du Toit put on an oscar performance and Ben recalls how they confessed to what they had done to Butler multiple times and remembered how he didn’t know what to do, “I’m on a tour with them in Australia, – what if they desert me, I don’t have a flight home, I didn’t have any money. I was their whipping boy, their little bitch,” he tells Tyson, “and I saw how they put everyone in that situation on different levels.”
Ben alleges that during his time touring with Die Antwoord they would always have “a target” saying they’ve caused problems with artists such as Bats for Lashes, Major Lazor, Manson and more at shows and festivals. Ben tells Tyson he plans to release more footage – like the video he captured of Jones hitting Du Toit through the face (something she actually confirms and normalises in an Instagram video to her 11-year-old adopted daughter Meisie – watch it below) and even more footage from that evening in Adelaide when they attacked Butler – which sees Du Toit discussing the incident again later that night in a car saying how her favourite part was when she was running and yelling “run faggot run.”
Ben also claims that other than Zheani Sparkes, many other girls have come forward since 2012 with their own stories regarding Die Antwoord’s inappropriate behaviour but are too scared to go public out of fear of online ridicule and any legal backlash they may face. Tyson, who has been in touch with Zheani says she’s working with some girls to get them to go public with their accounts of Die Antwoord and says he’s encouraged her to go that route because Die Antwoord’s legal team is far too big for one person’s accusation.
Ben says he has also reached out to another person previously affiliated with Die Antwoord, Diak Voigt, their former sound engineer and friend. Ben says Diak doesn’t want to participate in Edwins’s new video and that many previous Die Antwoord workers, friends, family and affiliates are under heavy NDA’s. None the less Ben tells Tyson he will be releasing screenshots from chats between himself and Diak which detail Diak’s own experiences with Die Antwoord whether Diak likes it or not.
When pressed to do something “heroic” and come forward for Edwins new video Tyson tells Ben that he knows coming forward is “the right thing to do” but that turning on artists is “bad for business” but that if it turned into a legal case he would step in and apparently even told Zheani when she previously asked for his support “that if it were in a court of law he would definitely be there.”
Die Antwoord claim they fired Ben Crossman in the past due to his mental health but Ben claims that’s a lie and tells Tyson he used to care for their children and was actually close with their family right up until the time he stopped working for them.
Die Antwoord have vaguely apologised for their bad “worldly vibes” but no direct apology has been made, not to Butler, Zheani, the LGBTQ community or the people they have offended with their brash use of racial slurs. No real accountability has taken place here. What they did to Andy Butler was revenge. They were annoyed with him, they didn’t like him, they physically attacked him, called him a faggot and falsely accused him of sexual assault to cover their own arses. I don’t care who pulls out a chair at your royal breakfast table, no one has the right to behave the way they did and harm/humiliate another person like that.
Listen to the full 15-minute exclusive call between Ben and Tyson below. To catch up on all the madness be sure to read our previous articles, Die Antwoord dropped from festival lineups as their controversial 2019 scandal continues – here’s the full breakdown AND Wu-Tang Clan to replace Die Antwoord as another festival drops the South African rap duo.
For a full and in-depth investigation on the entire saga be sure to follow Edwins Generation on YouTube and @rolling_with_the_devil (Ben Crossman’s expose Instagram account)