Sama custodian in legal hang-up as 2010 nominee demands promised cellphone

2013-05-05 14:00

The SA Music Awards (Samas) will kick off under a legal cloud this weekend because nominees from 2010 are still waiting for the free cellphones they were promised.

Osman Mkhondo – better known as DJ Hypnosis – has even taken legal action against the awards committee and Nokia to try to get the X6 32GB he says he was promised three years ago.

City Press is in possession of the letter of demand sent to the Recording Industry of SA (Risa) by lawyers representing Mkhondo. Risa is the custodian of the annual music awards.

In the letter, lawyers from Tumagole claim Risa has “breached the principles of natural justice” by not delivering the phone to Mkhondo as promised.

Mkhondo confirmed that he was pursuing the matter.

“Not that I need that phone. I’m just suing them as a matter of principle because people think they can disrespect artists and get away with it,” he said.

Other 2010 nominees – DJ Oskido, DJ Cleo and house music star Thembi Seete – told City Press they too had not received their phones as promised.

Risa’s chief operations officer, David du Plessis, said internal inquiries last year revealed that the contentious phones were placed in goodie bags for performers and presenters.

Du Plessis said this was communicated to the nominee who first cried foul. Risa then learnt that Nokia had promised phones to all Sama 2010 nominees.

“There was then an unfortunate delay in dealing with this query, but the matter was ultimately referred to Nokia in 2013 to attend to it,” he said.

Nokia spokesperson Leo McKay said in a written response to City Press: “Thanks a lot for the email. As you quite rightly point out, it seems the nominee in question is currently pursuing legal action against the Sama organisers. As such, it would really be inappropriate to comment on the matter at this time.”

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