Vuyo Mbuli’s staff stranded without wages

2013-06-02 10:00

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Zasise employees threaten to demand their salaries from late broadcaster’s wife.

It is not all “sharp sharp” for the late Vuyo Mbuli’s staff at his company, Zasise Communications. They were not paid their salaries on Friday.

Emotions ran high at Zasise, with some staff members threatening to march on Mbuli’s posh house in Houghton, north of Joburg, to demand that his wife, Savita Mbuli, pay them their salaries as the two were married in community of property.

The employees are also facing a bleak future as they claim that Savita has indicated she did not want to absorb them into her part of the company.

Mbuli, who was a popular Morning Live presenter on SABC, collapsed at a rugby match in Bloemfontein two weeks ago and later died in hospital. It emerged that he had suffered a pulmonary embolism.

The Mbulis co-owned Zasise, which offers public relations, communications, marketing and event-management services.

But when they separated two years ago, Savita took over the event-management and marketing section of the firm.

Two independent sources told City Press that Mbuli’s staff were not paid on Friday and were likely to be retrenched by Savita as she did not trust them.

“Savita indicated that she did not want to work with those people because she doesn’t trust them,” one source said.

“She believes that they were leaking information about the family’s private life to the media.”

Savita herself has not been shy to publicly discuss her private life and the sordid details of her late husband’s alleged affairs.

Last week, she told City Press that TV and radio personality Kuli Roberts was one of “18 women” with whom her estranged husband allegedly had affairs during the couple’s marriage.

Savita told City Press that she and Mbuli were in the process of reconciling at the time of his death, and said she had moved back into their marital home.

Roberts has rejected the allegations, calling Savita an attention seeker.

The Mbulis’ teenage son, Sithe (15), weighed in on the fight when he took to Twitter last weekend and called Roberts a “cheap peasant” compared to his mother. “You can take your cheap lipstick and ugly face, and shove it.”

Savita has insisted that she and her children saw a string of raunchy text messages Roberts allegedly sent to Mbuli.

Roberts, in turn, accused Savita of sending her saucy messages pretending to be Mbuli.

It’s not only Roberts with whom Savita has butted heads in the wake of her husband’s death.

She levelled the allegations at Roberts after being accused of getting into a catfight with Mbuli’s latest girlfriend, a woman known only as Kim.

Savita insists there was no confrontation, although several sources told City Press Kim had been ordered not to attend the burial in Joburg last week Friday.

When contacted for comment, Savita Mbuli demanded to know who leaked the information to the media about the staff revolt at her offices.

“Tell me the names of the people who gave you the information. It is not true that they were supposed to meet with me, they met with a labour lawyer. Please speak to the lawyer,” she said.

The lawyer she referred us to, who did not want to reveal his name, said he was too tired to speak to City Press.

Insiders say the rift between Savita and Vuyo’s staff began immediately after the couple separated.

“She did not want to share the office space with them because Vuyo’s company was not making as much money as hers,” said one close to the family.

Another said Savita phoned the staff members on Thursday and asked to have a meeting with them with her lawyers on Friday morning.

“They waited for her to arrive and when she did not they threatened to go to Vuyo’s house in Houghton and demanded their salaries,” he said.

“They were worried about their debit orders. Their argument is that Savita must pay them she and Vuyo were married in community of property and that they will take legal actions against if she refuse to pay their wages.

“But they did not go to her house because they chickened out.”

The staff has instead resolved to meet on Monday to plan the way forward.

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