JOHANNESBURG — The creator of popular South African soapie Mfundi Vundla insists nobody will be able to bully him into reinstating the actors he fired.
He has made this clear on numerous occasions to the government, unions and actors.
But it seems union federation Cosatu’s general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, didn’t get the memo.
If he did, he wouldn’t have extended an invitation to a meeting with the creator and executive producer of the soapie last Thursday.
As expected, Vundla blatantly refused to meet him, saying he was on holiday on Mackinac Island on Lake Huron in northern Michigan in the United States.
In a tersely worded exchange, Vundla reminded Vavi: “Cosatu has no legal standing regarding the dispute.”
But the determined Vavi replied in an sms, which City Press has seen: “I know, but it does have a moral and political obligation to help resolve disputes involving any worker — our request for an audience with you stands.”
But Vundla would not hear any of it, insisting he was unavailable.
This infuriated Vavi. “We want to cut that man to his size. That is all I can tell you,” he fumed.
The actors, who were fired last month, formed the Generations Actors Guild, to improve salaries and working conditions of the 16 actors, as well as all actors at the SABC.
Actors who were fired include Menzi Ngubane, who plays the character of ruthless businessman S’busiso Dlomo, Nambitha Mpumlwana (Mawande), Patrick Shai (Patrick Tlaole), Sophie Ndaba (Queen Moroka), Seputla Sebogodi (Kenneth Mashaba), Winnie Ntshaba (Khetiwe Buthelezi) and Katlego Danke (Dineo Dlomo).
The actors claimed that the broadcaster and the production company MMSV had failed to deliver on promises it made to them during their strike last year.
They were reportedly promised three-year contracts which they had not received. They also wanted salary adjustments.
— City Press