Controversial former University of the Witwatersrand SRC president Mcebo Dlamini was denied bail in .
THE producers of the internationally-acclaimed musical Umoja have fired all 12 members of the local cast and replaced them with new performers.
While the dismissed members claim they were replaced to save money - because the new cast is paid less than they were - the producers have dismissed the charge.
Instead, founder and co-producer Thembi Nyembe told Sowetan that the expelled actors, dancers and singers were "too old and are not keeping up to the standard of the show".
"We don't fire people at Umoja. The show is growing and some of the actors have gained weight.
"They have become mothers and fathers and we cannot keep them on the show.
"Who wants to come to the show to watch overweight actors," Nyembe said.
She said some of the actors had as many as three children and were no longer attractive.
Nyembe denied claims that the new cast members were being paid less than those they let go.
"The show is not about money. We pay everyone the same. The problem is that most of these actors take their money and spend it on alcohol and drugs. We want actors who are role models for the children in the townships.
"We can't afford to have actors who will go out there, engage in unprotected sex and have abortions. There are many kids who need to be given opportunities. Some of the old cast members are justspoilers," she said.
But, one ditched actor told Sowetan:
"These people are making a lot of money and don't want to pay us accordingly.
"When we demanded to be paid what we are worth, they fired us."
Umoja, a cultural dance group, has two casts.
One performs locally, while the other travels overseas.