‘SABC tried to steal Sum­mer Song con­cept’

Let­ter to union has litany of com­plaints

Sunday World - - Sunday Report - By Aubrey Mothombeni moth­ombe­[email protected]­day­world.co.za

The founder and di­rec­tor of the SABC Sum­mer Song com­pe­ti­tion has ac­cused the SABC of try­ing to steal his con­cept.

Owen Ndlovu, who con­cep­tu­alised the idea and sold it to the SABC five years ago, also ac­cused the SABC of breach­ing the con­tract be­tween Michael Owen Pro­duc­tions and the pub­lic broad­caster.

Ndlovu made the al­le­ga­tions fol­low­ing the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing top Lim­popo artists King Mon­ada and Mas­ter KG over the SABC Sum­mer Song.

The al­le­ga­tions were con­tained in a let­ter of com­plaint Ndlovu wrote to the Cul­tural and Cre­ative In­dus­tries Fed­er­a­tion of South Africa (CCIFSA), say­ing the SABC is to blame for the con­tro­versy.

Ndlovu con­firmed that he wrote the let­ter to CCIFSA.

CCIFSA pres­i­dent and ac­tor Tony Kgoroge con­firmed re­ceiv­ing the let­ter from Ndlovu.

In the let­ter, Ndlovu said the cam­paign was ran suc­cess­fully in its in­au­gu­ral year, 2015, and all con­di­tions were met.

Ndlovu said prob­lems started in 2017 af­ter the SABC al­legedly de­vi­ated from the con­tract when it canned the com­pe­ti­tion. “This was the be­gin­ning of a mis­sion to steal our con­cept. They [SABC in­di­vid­u­als] had in­ten­tions of go­ing on with the con­cept with­out us. But we man­aged to stop them through our lawyers,” he said in the let­ter.

In the same let­ter, Ndlovu said that things im­proved in 2018 with the ap­point­ment of new management led by CEO Madoda Mx­akwe, who in­ter­vened and en­sured that all con­tracts were hon­oured.

“De­spite all that, in 2018, only two ra­dio sta­tions took part in­stead of the 18 ra­dio sta­tions. In­stead of all sta­tions be­com­ing part of SABC Sum­mer Song, they did their own mini cam­paigns on Twit­ter to bring con­fu­sion as peo­ple ended up be­ing con­fused on which song was even­tu­ally crowned the SABC Sum­mer Song of the Year. The con­tract stip­u­lates that all ra­dio sta­tions would take part in this com­pe­ti­tion.”

Ac­cord­ing to the con­tract, signed in March 2015 and ex­pected to end in March 2019, it was agreed that the SABC will bring on board its 18 ra­dio sta­tions and the win­ner was to be an­nounced live on SABC1 at mid­night on Jan­uary 31.

The SABC was also ex­pected to pro­vide air­time and Ndlovu the prizes.

SABC spokes­woman Neo Momodu said: “The SABC will not com­ment pub­licly on con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions and re­la­tion­ships with its ser­vice providers and/or part­ners.

“Fur­ther­more, the management of the SABC ra­dio sta­tions has the sole dis­cre­tion to de­cide on part­ner­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties they en­ter into for var­i­ous cam­paigns on the re­spec­tive ra­dio sta­tions. As a re­sult, only two sta­tions – namely Ukhozi FM and Tho­bela FM – took the de­ci­sion to en­ter into a part­ner­ship for the 2018 Sum­mer Song cam­paign.”

/ Sandile Ndlovu

'Skele­ton’ singer Mas­ter KG.

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