Muvhango cast in a tight spot

Zenoyise Madikwa

It never rains but it pours for Muvhango actors. This time they have not been paid their August salaries.

The salaries were supposed to have been paid into their accounts on August 1.

Last week Sowetan broke the story about Muvhango's future being in jeopardy after the SABC delayed the renewal of its contract.

Sowetan has received an SMS that was sent to actors by a certain Diana, Muvhango's production coordinator. The SMS says: "Your salaries will be paid on Tuesday September 2. Sorry for any inconvenience caused."

The actors have not heard a word from the producers since.

Two weeks ago, Sowetan reported that Muvhango was cash-strapped and that the soapie could be put on hold. But at the time the producers and SABC said there were no problems and that the delay in paying actors was due to the fact that they were still negotiating a new contract.

But publicist Nonkululeko Ndlovu refused to comment on this yesterday. He said Word of Mouth Productions would not want to discuss anything that concerns the soapie.

One actor, who does not want to be identified, said all the Muvhango bosses' phones were off when certain actors tried to enquire about their salaries.

"Nobody is answering our calls, including Duma [playwright kaNdlovu]. We are all pissed off but people are afraid to talk."

The actor said they were scheduled to start working next week, but "I don't think people will turn up for work under these circumstances."

Lebo "Elle" Tisane, who plays Lebo on the soapie, said she was very inconvenienced.

"If anyone said everything was OK he or she would be lying. I am in a very tough situation."

Florence Masebe, who plays Humbulani, said when the actors talk about salaries to the SABC, the corporation says it has nothing to do with their contracts.

"They tell us to talk to the production house," Masebe said. "The production house points a finger at the SABC. This whole thing is confusing to us."

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said the corporation had nothing to do with the salaries of Muvhango's actors.