Pali loses his cool after being on gospel festival’s bill without his prior knowledge Two of South Africa’s top gospel stars, Sechaba Pali and S’fiso Ncwane, nearly came to blows in Durban and had to be held apart by singer Hlengiwe Mhlaba. Pali confirmed that he lost his temper with Ncwane after finding out that he’d been named as a performer at the latter’s New Year’s Eve festival two Sundays ago – even though he hadn’t been booked for the gig. A record company executive who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation said Ncwane advertised Pali’s name in radio interviews and on street posters as a crowd puller for his annual festival next to the ICC Arena without booking him. Pali learnt about the gigs from fans who called him and said they were looking forward to seeing him perform at the show. Pali drove with his backing vocalists from Joburg to Durban, where he demanded to perform – and to be paid. When he allegedly couldn’t get a straight answer from Ncwane, Pali confronted the other gospel star and asked why he was being disrespected. Eyewitnesses said, and Pali confirmed to City Press, that Mhlaba intervened at that point because she could see how angry Pali was. The police were called and Pali was threatened with arrest but was freed after being questioned. Sechaba Pali Pali confirmed the incident. “Yes, I was angry because he disrespected me, but I was not going to assault him.” Pali said the first he heard of the gig was when fans started calling him. “When I asked them what they were talking about, they asked me to listen to Ukhozi?FM.” After hearing the advert, he said he called Ncwane’s wife, Ayanda, and asked why his name was being used. “My manager sent her a quotation of R70?000 appearance fee after she asked me to do so. She deposited only R5?000 and when I asked her why, she said I was too expensive and told me to take it or not to come to the show.” So he headed to Durban. “I had to go there because I was scared he’d tell my fans at the concert that he paid me but I failed to pitch up and that would damage my reputation.” Pali claimed that after trying unsuccessfully to reach Ncwane, the star called him on Sunday afternoon and asked him to be at the show. “I drove there without having a bath and waited for him for about five hours.” Pali said he was particularly angry that, after the pair had allegedly agreed he would perform at 10pm, Ncwane then said he would only be on stage at 2am. “When 2am arrived, he rescheduled my performance for 4am and that’s when I got angry and told him to stop disrespecting me. “I demanded my money. While we were arguing, Hlengiwe came and told me to calm down. As I was talking to her, the police arrived and said Ncwane had told them I wanted to assault him. “I explained the whole story and they told him to pay me or face arrest. He then gave me R16?000 and asked me to perform, promising to settle the outstanding balance of R49?000 the following day. Can you believe that I performed at 7am? I have never been so ill-treated – this boy is taking me for granted.” He said one of the police officers, Cedric Nkabinde, promised to help him get his money. Nkabinde confirmed that he was called in to intervene in the dispute between the two artists. “I will try to get Ayanda and S’fiso to sort out this matter,” Nkabinde said. Neither singer could be reached for further comment – their cellphones rang unanswered over a period of days and they failed to respond to text messages sent to their cellphones.