Damsel in distress
Ben swoops in to rescue Nikiwe when she signals for help.
Benjamin le Roux (Arno Marais) has gone from snobby brat to mature businessman and his return to The Deep in June coincided with the merging of mining giants Sibeko Gold and Haines International. But it isn’t all business – Ben’s arrival is a happy reunion with his friend Nikiwe (Linda Sokhulu) but a bitter one for Nikiwe’s jealous ex Gabriel (Aubrey Poo). On Wednesday 5 July, Ben pulls on his superhero outfit to save the day when when the couple’s split get ugly.
SAFETY & CAUTION
“Ben saw how Gabriel manhandled Nikiwe [on Friday 30 June, when he tried to beat her up for wanting to leave him] and Ben now has a personal vendetta against Gabriel,” says Arno. “He doesn’t want to see his friend being hurt or abused and he does his best to make sure that never happens by standing guard over Nikiwe and keeping Gabriel at bay.” That doesn’t mean Ben is trying to sneak in and start romancing Nikiwe. Arno explains that the pair are just friends and Ben cares for her, adding that “it’s too early and easy to talk about any romantic sort- of relationship”.
CONSUMED BY ETHICS
Gabriel doesn’t realise that he has a tail around town on Thursday 6 July but Ben’s making sure that Gabriel stays away from Nikiwe. “He becomes obsessed with Gabriel,” explains Arno. “He wants to know where Gabriel is and that he’s not harassing Nikiwe.” At the same time, Gabriel thinks that Ben and Nikiwe are having an affair – they’re really close friends and the timing of Ben’s return suspicious. And it’s fuelled on Friday 7 July when Ben comforts Nikiwe, who’s still stressed about Gabriel lingering around town. Arno says that “something in Ben changes and he is determined to help Nikiwe get back to her old jolly self again. He plays psychologist, advisor, emotional supporter – everything.”
Ben is no fool, having gone against The Deep’s Mr Mean Barker Haines (Robert Whitehead) many times in the past. And on Wednesday 12 July, Ben’s snooping pays off when he gets intel about Gabriel’s pyramid scheme from January this year and he plans on using it to put thieving Gabriel behind bars. “But it’s not that simple,” hints Arno. “The ex-pastor is a master of covering his tracks and Ben may not be in time to stop him.” Looks like Nikiwe’s knight may have stirred a hornet’s nest…
Ben and Kgotalo try to help Nikiwe (far right) after her Gabriel nightmare wreaks havoc on her.