Artists cryfoul over 2010 music rights

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

The Creative Workers Union of South Africa (Cwusa) is crying foul because music powerhouse Sony BMG Music Entertainment has acquired the 2010 Fifa World Cup music rights.

Yesterday, Cwusa's general secretary Oupa Lebogo said: "The way Fifa handled the tender process is very suspicious.

"The tender was never advertised. Sony BMG and Fifa had an agreement outside South Africa - without consulting local artists."

Lebogo said Cwusa first heard about the tender when Keith Lister, chief executive of Sony BMG Entertainment Africa, announced it during the International Property Workshop held last November in Durban.

"This means that the local artists will be held hostage by a company located outside South Africa," Lebogo said.

"Sony BMG will appoint anyone they want to perform at the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as during the tournament.

"They will also have the right to hand-pick a person who will compose the theme song for the event and the person who will perform it."

Lister refused to comment, telling Sowetan that Sony BMG was "not allowed to comment" about any 2010 Fifa World Cup issues.

The Local Organising Committee's spokesman, Tim Modise, said claims that Sony BMG had received a tender were incorrect. "They are sponsors of Fifa," he said.