SABC2 telenovela Lithapo halts production due to Covid-19

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Sthandiwe Kgoroge and Mangaliso Ngema in 'Lithapo'.
Sthandiwe Kgoroge and Mangaliso Ngema in 'Lithapo'.
Photo: Quizzical Pictures
  • SABC2's Sesotho telenovela Lithapo has halted production due to a positive case of Covid-19 confirmed on set.
  • The production shut down on Friday 26 June and will be closed until at least 6 July.
  • Production on 7de Laan, Rhythm City, and Scandal! have also been stopped due to coronavirus cases.


SABC2's Sesotho telenovela Lithapo is the latest South African TV production to shut down after a Covid-19 positive case was identified among the production staff.

Lithapo filmed at Fleet Street Studios in Ferndale, Johannesburg shut down on Friday 26 June and will be closed until at least 6 July.

This comes after the show shut down temporarily two weeks ago for a few days also over alarm around Covid-19 which turned out to be negative. Production resumed a week ago just for the shutdown to happen on Friday.

The show is produced by Quizzical Pictures for SABC2. Quizzical Pictures' other show - the weekday soap Rhythm City on e.tv - is also shut down because of positive Covid-19 cases.

SABC2 spokesperson Lebo Malete told Channel24 that Lithapo "has shut down since Friday 26 June until further notice".

"The production house is currently following all protocols and measures that are in place. Once all has been completed, production will restart. The producers will advise when production will restart. SABC confirms that there will be no break in transmission ensuring viewers will still enjoy Lithapo."

M-Net's The River produced by Tshedza Pictures on 1Magic (DStv 103) was the first show to shut down because of a positive Covid-19 case after South Africa's film and TV industry reopened following the extended national lockdown period. The telenovela has now resumed filming. 

After The River, Skeem Saam on SABC1, and Word of Mouth's Venda series Muvhango on SABC2 have both shut down due to positive Covid-19 cases.

They were followed last week by SABC2's 7de Laan on SABC2 produced by Danie Odendaal Productions, as well as both of e.tv's weekday soaps Rhythm City produced by Quizzical Pictures and Scandal! produced by Ochre Media - all three of them filmed at Sasani Studios in Highlands North in Johannesburg.

READ MORE | 7de Laan, Rhythm City, and Scandal! halt production due to Covid-19

Lithapo producers informed the cast and crew in an email last Thursday to "kindly note that we won't be shooting tomorrow, Friday 26 June, due to one of our crew members who has tested positive for Covid-19".

The crew and cast have been instructed to self-isolate at home.

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