Mfundi Vundla: ‘Sacked actors betrayed me’

2014-08-22 14:47

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Some Generations actors demanded that the soapie’s management team give them personal bodyguards, says executive producer Mfundi Vundla.

Speaking at a press conference at the SABC’s Auckland Park offices today, Vundla and Generations’ director Friedrich Stark slammed 16 sacked actors’ assertion that they are badly paid.

Vundla said he felt betrayed by some of the actors, whose contracts were terminated this week after they went on strike over their salaries.

Stark suggested the fired actors were prima donnas who were among the most well paid in the country, earning an average of R55 000 a month.

“For them to say that the working environment is not conducive is ridiculous. We provided them with all the tools they need to keep them comfortable and productive.

“We gave them three meals a day. They had their own dressing room and artists’ lounge (where they could relax),” Stark said.

Some also demanded bodyguards, Vundla claimed. He refused to mention any names.

“I have worked so hard to get Generations where it is today. I will be damned if I let anyone destroy it.

“If it means fighting to the bitter end then I will,” he said.

Vundla said he did not regret terminating the actors’ contracts – but then adopted a more conciliatory tone, saying he hadn’t ruled out the possibility of going back to the negotiating table with the 16 actors.

But he told fans there was no need to panic.

“Generations will continue because we have plans for the future.”

Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SABC’s chief operations officer, was also at the press conference. He urged all the parties involved to go back to the negotiating table.

“In principle I agree with some of the issues they are raising. However, I believe that the actors have been misled by agents in the way they handled this matter.

“In any company there will be disputes but that doesn’t mean that workers must not adhere to company policy. In this case I would like to believe that actors and the production would come to their senses and resolve these issues,” Motsoeneng said.

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