A prominent Tshwane gospel musician has been accused of exploiting her backing vocalists by overworking and underpaying them.
The four vocalists have now parted ways with Winnie Mashaba, labelling her "a bad employer who only cares about her bank balance".
Sources close to the Limpopo-born star told Sowetan yesterday that Mohau Sekgobela, Kgaugelo Sekgobela, Matidi Moeketsi and Kgadi Matlala ditched Mashaba after accusing her of failing to pay them what they were worth.
One vocalist, who asked not to be named, told Sowetan that Mashaba paid them R200 after every performance while she herself earned thousands of rands.
He said they saw Mashaba's banking details after their recent performance in Polokwane.
Her cellphone showed she had been paid three amounts of R25000 in one week from three different shows but had only paid them R500 each.
"Mashaba left her cellphone in the car with us," our source said. "One of us peeped at the messages and saw that a total of R75000 was paid to her in one weekend but we were paid peanuts."
The vocalist showed his colleagues the messages and they all agreed that they deserved far more than they were being paid.
When Mashaba returned to the car one vocalist asked her to increase their income and sign employment contracts.
"An argument ensued and Mashaba told the crew that if they did not want to sing with her they should stay at home."
When contacted for comment, Mohau and Kgaugelo Sekgobela confirmed they had dumped Mashaba "after a personal disagreement".
Mashaba described the allegations against her as "a plot to bring me down".
"As far as I am concerned all my vocalists are still with me," Mashaba said. "It is just that they recently found new jobs that keep them away from many of our performances.
"I have never failed to pay any of them and these allegations are baseless." .