Parliamentary committee wants better safety protocols after actor's death

2018-04-18 16:09
Actor Odwa Shweni who died after he slipped and fell off a cliff at the Sterkspruit Waterfall in the Drakensberg while filming a movie scene. (Facebook)

Actor Odwa Shweni who died after he slipped and fell off a cliff at the Sterkspruit Waterfall in the Drakensberg while filming a movie scene. (Facebook)

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The Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture has called for better and safer working conditions in the arts industry, following the death of actor Odwa Shweni last week.

Shweni, 39, died last Thursday after he slipped and fell off a cliff at the Sterkspruit Waterfall in the Drakensberg, while filming a movie scene.

Read: Actor falls to his death during movie shoot in Drakensberg

His body was recovered from a pool below the waterfall, after he fell about 40 metres.

Committee chairperson Xoliswa Tom said on Wednesday that protocols around filming in dangerous areas needed to be looked at.

"The untimely death of Mr Shweni raises many questions about the safety procedures during filming and rehearsals, and this is a matter that should be looked in to with all urgency," Tom said in a statement.

"The committee extends its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr Shweni and wishes them strength during this difficult time."

The crew reportedly entered the park like normal visitors on the day, and traversed the landscape without a guide, the Sunday Tribune reported on Tuesday.

KZN police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said last week that a Pietermaritzburg search and rescue team discovered Shweni's body the next morning, after it was deemed too dangerous to search on the day.

An inquest has been opened, Zwane said.

The Centurion resident was an IT specialist who was acting part-time in an upcoming feature called Outside.

South African Guild of Actors deputy chairperson Adrian Galley described Shweni as a "bright and educated chap" with a lot to offer, News24 reported on Wednesday.

READ MORE: I'm waiting for daddy to do my hair - daughter of late actor Odwa Shweni

He had two daughters, one of whom was "still waiting for him to do her hair".

Galley agreed the tragedy had raised questions around safety in the industry, specifically the need for actors to work in environments with strict safety precautions.

Read more on:    odwa shweni  |  durban  |  accidents

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