Uzalo: It’s Duma ver­sus Zuma

CityPress - - News - NTOMBI­ZODWA MAKHOBA ntombi­zodwa@city­press.co.za

South Africa’s tele­vi­sion drama doyen, Duma Ndlovu, is con­tem­plat­ing launch­ing an in­ter­dict against the SABC to force it to re­move Uzalo from the na­tion’s TV screens.

In a drama be­fit­ting a TV se­ries, Ndlovu is en­gaged in a bat­tle for con­trol of the SABC’s lead­ing show with fel­low pro­duc­ers Pepsi Pokane and the pres­i­dent’s daugh­ter, Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube.

SABC chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng, who has been try­ing to re­solve the mat­ter, con­firmed the clash, but de­clined to com­ment be­cause he is me­di­at­ing the mat­ter.

A close as­so­ciate of Ndlovu’s told City Press that the sim­mer­ing con­flict came to a head when the for­mer play­wright’s role as pro­ducer was re­moved from the cred­its of the te­len­ov­ela.

He is now only ac­knowl­edged in the cred­its as cre­ator and con­cep­tu­aliser.

His name also does not ap­pear on the list of the di­rec­tors in the com­pany that pro­duced Uzalo.

Things got even worse when Pokane fired 25 staff mem­bers who were hired by Ndlovu.

Ap­par­ently, Pokane told the staff mem­bers that the SABC had no bud­get for them.

The staff mem­bers have since writ­ten to the SABC to find out whether this is true or not.

Ndlovu’s as­so­ciate said: “Ndlovu has no say any more. Zu­maNcube and Pokane are the only ones han­dling the pay­roll. Duma has no say any more. Zuma and Pokane want Ndlovu out as a pro­ducer and they are do­ing ev­ery­thing they can to side­line him.” Mot­soe­neng, who has been ap­proached by Ndlovu, con­firmed to City Press that he had met with Uzalo’s pro­duc­ers, but would not di­vulge what was dis­cussed.

“The pro­duc­ers have dif­fer­ences and my duty as the me­di­a­tor is to make sure that I re­solve the mat­ter be­tween the par­ties,” Mot­soe­neng said. When ap­proached for com­ment, Ndlovu said he would call back af­ter a meet­ing he was in­volved in fin­ished, but he did not re­spond to fur­ther calls and a text mes­sage. Zuma-Ncube and Pokane were not avail­able for com­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the SA TV Au­thor­ity, re­cent TV rat­ings in­di­cate Uzalo’s view­er­ship is at 6 584 000, while Gen­er­a­tions is sit­ting at 4 919 000.

Uzalo shot up from 5 mil­lion view­ers a night to 8 mil­lion a night in less than a year be­fore set­tling on the cur­rent num­ber.

PHO­TOS: SI­MONE KLEY / GALLO IM­AGES / YOU

DRAMA Duma Ndlovu (above) is the

ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of Uzalo. He is fight­ing with

fel­low pro­duc­ers Pepsi Pokane

(left) and Gugu Zuma

Ncube

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