People's Poet 'honoured us with no pay'
PEOPLE's poet Mzwakhe Mbuli might have honoured those who died with his Siyabakhumbula awards, but it seems he could shame them if they were to take him on.
Mbuli is accused by service providers of failing to pay them for the work they did at the event, which was held at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Gauteng, last month.
Sunday World can reveal those who have not been paid are among others actress Florence Masebe, actor Magic Hlatshwayo, former Kaizer Chiefs PRO Putco Mafani, Generations actress Sophie Ndaba and musician-cum-lawyer Steve Kekana.
Kekana has threatened to sue Mbuli if he doesn't pay up soon. Mbuli ignored our calls and text messages and had failed to contact the newspaper at the time of publication to give his side of the story.
We can also reveal that the event was almost thrown into disarray after the sound system suppliers refused to switch on at the venue in protest at non-payment.
It is alleged that it took the intervention of Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile and Joburg City Council mayor Parks Tau to rescue the situation.
The event was delayed by almost three hours, much to the embarrassment of both the two political bigwigs.
"I saw both of them talking to the sound guys, who eventually switched it on and the event started immediately. Now weeks after the event, people are still to be paid," says our deep throat.
Another mole confirms the event was delayed by almost three hours as the owners of the sound system refused to play because they demanded payment upfront.
"It was so embarrassing and now some other service providers have not been paid.
"I know that Steve Kekana, Florence Masebe, Sophie Ndaba, Mapaseka Makoti and Putco Mafani have not been paid and Mzwakhe is sending them from pillar to post when they inquire about the payment," says our source.
Ndaba and Masebe declined to comment, while Mafani and Makoti couldn't be reached for comment at the time of going to press.
Kekana says he was not paid for either last or this year's events.
"I wasn't paid last year and I'm not complaining about it because there was no contract. But for this year's event I signed a contact and I notified them that I would take action if they don't pay me because I haven't been getting answers from them when I enquire about my money."
Spokesman Eddie Mokoena confirmed that the City of Johannesburg sponsored the event.