Thandaza closes the chapter with business partner bestie James after yet another dispute.
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Building a construction company with turnover in the millions takes a strong-willed person. Alongside her bestie James (Dingaan Mokebe), Thandaza (Sindi Dlathu) started Basadi from the ground up, but their working relationship soured in July 2017 when Thandaza blamed James for missing money from the business books. Their friendship has suffered under the strain and now “she wants nothing to do with him!” explains Sindi. “These two are stubborn and although the money thing was long resolved, they’re still bickering.” Thandaza loses her temper with her son Vusi (Raphael Griffiths) on Tuesday 17 October when he mentions James’s name in their conversation and Sindi adds, “It sucks for everyone that Thandaza and James are no longer friends. They had a strong bond but they’re two hot-heads who don’t want to give in to the other.” James has taken the war to Thandaza.
With the death of James’ daughter Busi (Bontle Sithole) still lingering, Vusi tries to convince Thandaza to bury the hatchet on Thursday 19 October but she refuses pointblank. “Their friendship is broken from all angles. What hurts the most is that Thandaza could not go to Busi’s funeral because she keeps getting into petty arguments with James,” says Sindi. But Thandaza isn’t the only one refusing to make amends, as Vusi finds out when he visits James that same day. James is as stubborn as his frenemy Thandaza, who is furious with him for trying to steal shares from Basadi after his name was cleared with the missing money issue. James is in the fight to make a point to Thandaza, that he deserves a stake at their company as much as she does. “It’s obvious that these two know what they are doing. Thandaza is angry because she doesn’t understand why James would want her children’s legacy for himself. She would rather have the company that she worked hard for than a friend who wants to launder money from her,” explains the actress.
Thandaza will do anything to avoid her ex-businesspartner and she’s used every excuse under the sun not to be in a room alone with him. But she has nowhere to hide on Friday 20 October when the lift jams with just the two of them. “It’s the most awkward hour of Thandaza’s life,’ laughs Sindi. The pair don’t look at each other or say a word. “They look the other way and wait for someone to rescue them. It’s the worst thing that could possibly happen to these hot-heads, but it’s terribly funny at the same time.” James has always had Thandaza’s back, even when she was fired by the Mukwevhos from their family business MMC in 2015, and she should’ve trusted him enough and given him the benefit of the doubt not to think that he would steal from her.
Something clicks on Monday 23 October and Thandaza realises that she is fighting a losing battle, at least on a personal level. “The friendship is over and all that she can do is accept that she will never reunite with James,” says Sindi. With that decision clear, she can now focus on her business and trying to keep Basadi afloat, with or without James’s help. “Forgiveness plays an important part,” says Sindi. “No friendship is perfect and Thandaza and James go way back. If it was me, I would try to move on and focus on other things.”
Vusi tries to help Thandaza patch things up with James but she’s having none of it.