Irate Maseko disrupts press viewing

A FUMING Tshepo Maseko yesterday disrupted an SABC3 press viewing and demanded to be given answers about his contract.

A FUMING Tshepo Maseko yesterday disrupted an SABC3 press viewing and demanded to be given answers about his contract.

What was supposed to be an update on the channel's coming shows turned into a circus when the Isidingo star wanted to know why he had not been told that the terms of his contract had been changed.

An angry Maseko, who plays Parsons Matabane in the popular soapie, revealed that he had been put on call from the end of this month.

He was angry because everyone but him seemed to know about the change.

"I was told that the channel does not want me and had decided to put me on call as part of the channel's moving forward strategy. This call thing starts at the end of January when my contract expires," he said.

Maseko said being on call meant his salary could be cut by half and he would have to negotiate how much they pay him per appearance.

A surprised Isidingo production team tried to calm down the situation by explaining the rationale behind Maseko's change of contract terms.

Head of scriptwriters Ilse van Hemat confirmed that there was a change in the storyline.

"After all the drama with Thandi, Parsons will move to Jozi. He will sell his company, Deep Gold, to Nandipha. But he will still be in the storyline while in Joburg."

Buli Siwani, acting SABC3 marketing manager, said: "I am actually shocked. We have never issued such an instruction to the production house."

Maseko said: "I don't have a problem if they put me on call. I am a professional actor. What makes me sick is the way they handled the whole matter."

Maseko has played Parsons for 10 years. The recent storyline focused on Parson and his wife Thandi trying to get pregnant. When she discovers he is infertile, his father Zeb donates his sperm for Thandi to be artificially inseminated.

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