David James responds to co-stars racism allegation

Veteran actor, David James. Picture: Lourens Reyneke.

Veteran actor, David James. Picture: Lourens Reyneke.

Published Apr 24, 2024


Award-winning actress Brenda Ngxoli recently opened up about a racist attack she endured while filming “Sew the Winter to my Skin”.

On the social media post she gave a detailed account of the incident and alleged that the person was actor David James.

Ngxoli’s first post detailed how James called her “K***** meit” in front of many people who “gasped in shock”.

“This happened in front of Many People... Mostly white background Thespians who were there for the Court scene. They gasped in Shock. I cried whole day. Ya nothing happened to the Actor.

“My name though has through the years been Tainted and I've kept quiet....No more,” she wrote.

After social media users asked her to reveal a name, she followed up with another post.

She wrote: “‘Hey Jou Kaffir Meit’ he said to me on the Set of Sew the Winter to My Skin. If anything happens to me and my Child.... David James is his Name.”

She added that she was able to divulge information about the incident because she hadn’t signed a contract or the non-disclosure agreement that was forced on her.

View the posts below:

James, who is well-known for his many big and small screen roles, has responded to the claim.

In a lengthy and detailed response to Independent Media Lifestyle, James said that the incident did happen but not in the way it is being portrayed.

James said he met Ngxoli for the first time in 2017 on the production set but he was familiar with her work prior to that.

“I have always had the greatest respect and admiration for her as an award-winning professional actress.

“Travelling back from set one night we were engaged in a discussion in the cast vehicle about the political era and setting of the script, our respective characters and together we reflected on racial epithets.”

He shared that the following morning there had been “mutual banter” between the two of them.

“Both of us using some of these pejorative phrases (which included the K-word), in mutual understanding of our facetiousness.

“Production called a meeting to address a complaint raised by Ms Ngxoli. The meeting included the producer, director, assistant director, Ms Ngxoli and myself.

“After a comprehensive discussion surrounding the specific events I related above, I realised that my conduct was seen as being offensive and inappropriate.”

He said that he “immediately and unreservedly” apologised to Ngxoli and the producer. Thereafter him and Ngxoli shook hands and he, once again, apologised to her.

“I have a comprehensive record of the notes taken at this meeting and I have no doubt Ms Ngxoli also has copies.

“Having wrapped on the production, we returned to Johannesburg the following day.

“From my perspective, at least, we left on amicable terms and I have had not had any contact with Ms Ngxoli since then.”

James stated that he “deeply regrets” any hurt that Ngxoli endured and that he is willing to oblige to an investigation to resolve the matter.

“I am sorry that this regrettable incident still haunts her seven years later.

“I state unequivocally that I invite any further investigation of this incident by any competent authority including the Human Rights Commission.

“I would support every effort to ventilate this matter again thoroughly,” ended James.