Fergusons 'considering legal action' against Vatiswa Ndara over open letter

08 October 2019 - 11:59
By Kyle Zeeman
Vatiswa Ndara wrote an open letter to arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa in which she detailed alleged
Image: Gallo Images / Frennie Shivambu Vatiswa Ndara wrote an open letter to arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa in which she detailed alleged "bullying and exploitation" of actors and make reference to alleged conditions in a contract offered to her by Ferguson Films.

Connie and Shona Ferguson, owners of Ferguson Films, are considering legal action against former iGazi actress Vatiswa Ndara over her allegations of mistreatment of actors, their legal team have confirmed to TshisaLIVE.

The actress cast the spotlight on alleged "bullying and exploitation" of actors through an open letter which she addressed to arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa. 

The Fergusons' lawyer told TshisaLIVE they had noted the letter and were considering their legal options against Vatiswa.

“We are considering legal action against the author of the letter and we are not going to answer any further questions at this time,” said Brendan de Kooker from De Kooker Attorneys.

He refused to provide further details around any possible legal action. 

Connie told TshisaLIVE she "reserves her right not to comment", and referred all enquiries to her legal team. 

In the scathing six-page letter, Vatiswa revealed that she would not be returning to season three of iGazi, and then detailed some of the alleged conditions of the contract offered to her by the company.

“Ferguson Films is officially starting iGazi 3 and we would like to offer Vatiswa a global contract for iGazi 3 at R110,000 (before tax) for the duration of the shoot (five weeks). No limit to calls, first call exclusive to us,” read a quote, allegedly from an e-mail by Ferguson Films.

Vatiswa then listed why these conditions were problematic, including how actors were not able to seek further employment until the contract was completed and were allegedly not compensated for work-related activities, including wardrobe fittings, make-up, public relations and media interviews.

She also claimed that the contract allowed for limitless calls, which could see her on set from Monday to Saturday, sometimes for up to 12 hours a day, with no additional compensation.

“This particular interaction with Ferguson Films has not only made me evaluate my own being and sustenance within the industry,” she said in the letter.

Mthethwa acknowledged on social media that he had received the letter and his ministerial spokesperson, Asanda Magaqa, told Sowetan he was considering the contents.