‘SABC screens out my cash’

2011-08-13 16:40

“I can’t take this sh*t any more!”

These are the desperate words of South African actor Mandla Thabethe’s widow, who claims that the SABC is not paying out her husband’s royalties.

Mapule Thabethe (37), who was married to the comic actor and producer of the Family Bonds comedy, says she’s been given the “runaround by the SABC”, which has not paid her money owed for the reruns of her husband’s show.

She said Thabethe’s contract stipulates that she should receive “50% of the initial income that was paid out to Mandla” for broadcasting the repeat.

“I noticed that the SABC was repeating my husband’s show. And when I called the SABC they said I could only make a claim when the repeats ended, so I did that at the end of April,” she says.

The couple, who were together for more than a decade, were married in 2007. Mandla died in a motorcycle accident in January last year and life for Mapule has gone from bad to worse.

“We had to move out of our home in Mulbarton because it was too expensive and we are now renting in Walkerville,” says Thabethe, who used to run an events company with her husband.

“I had to take my child Mondli out of school because I couldn’t afford the private school fees. I depend on my friends and mother to help me pay for everything.”

She says in the last four months, she has spoken to various SABC officials, including head of drama Khethiwe Ngcobo and programme manager Clara Nzama, who promised her that the money would be paid out.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the initial claim submitted for a 2009 repeat was rejected “because the series transmitted at the time was the original series”.

“Mrs Thabethe, through her agent, had to submit new forms. The correct claim forms were submitted on the 13/07/11; and by the 29/07/11 the forms were fully signed by all signatories.

“The operations department has been updating Mrs Thabethe’s agent, Humphrey Mbatha all along of the developments,” said Kganyago in an email.

But Thabethe has received no cash.

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