Uzalo: It’s Duma versus Zuma
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.
DRAMA Duma Ndlovu (above) is the
executive producer of Uzalo. He is fighting with
fellow producers Pepsi Pokane
(left) and Gugu Zuma