SA doccie allegedly ripped off thesis – report

2013-02-09 11:56

A lecturer from the Wits Business School has alleged that the History Channel failed to credit him after making use of two of his academic works for a documentary.

The documentary titled, ‘The Miracle Rising: South Africa’ would be broadcast internationally tomorrow.

Dr Geoffery Heald told the Saturday Star his thesis called ‘Learning amongst enemies: A phenomenological study of the South African Constitutional Negotiations from 1985 to 1988’ and ‘South Africa’s voluntary relinquishment of its nuclear arsenal and accession to the treaty of on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in terms of international law’ formed the basis of the documentary.

Heald said he approached the History Channel in the United States with his work in 2006 and was advised to contact Combined Artists and Brett Lotriet who worked for a production company.

Heald, Lotriet and another producer Michele Sparkes worked on a trial run of the documentary.

Heald said Combined Artists approached him to discuss accreditation for his work but he insisted his copyright be acknowledged.

The documentary was finalised in 2011, allegedly without his involvement.

Lawyers for Combined Artists told the newspaper the documentary was original.

“The documentary is a historical documentary based on historical events that occurred in South Africa leading up to its democracy,” Sim and Botsi Attorneys was quoted as saying.

Heald, who has not seen the final documentary, insisted that previous cuts could prove his work was used.

He has approached the court to ask that they declare the documentary a reproduction or adaptation of his work.

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