SHEMBE DEAL OVER VUVUZELA

FULL BLAST: The Shembe Nazareth Church in KwaZulu-Natal says the vuvuzela is its invention and it wants financial assistance for the poor in the church over the use of the vuvuzelas as a national symbol during the World Cup. Pic. SIYABONGA MASONKUTU. 12/06/2010. © Sowatan
FULL BLAST: The Shembe Nazareth Church in KwaZulu-Natal says the vuvuzela is its invention and it wants financial assistance for the poor in the church over the use of the vuvuzelas as a national symbol during the World Cup. Pic. SIYABONGA MASONKUTU. 12/06/2010. © Sowatan

CONTROVERSY over who the rightful owner of the vuvuzela horn has ended.

Leaders of the Nazareth Baptist Church (Shembe) and Neil van Schalkwyk, co-owner of the Masincedane Sport Company which owns the trademark for the instrument, reached an agreement yesterday.

The agreement follows the company's acknowledgement that the church had indeed invented the instrument.

The instrument has for generations been the symbol of South African soccer fans at packed soccer stadiums locally.

This year the Shembe Church threatened to take Fifa and the SA Local Organising Committee to court over ownership of the instrument.

But the court action did not materialise when the LOC made it clear that it had nothing to do with the manufacturing of the instrument.

The church then went after the Masincedane Sport Company.

Shembe spokesperson Enock Mthembu said the main outcome of negotiations was that the legal teams and financial advisers from both sides will meet over the next week to finalise a deal.

"This vindicates what we have been saying - that the vuvuzela was invented by the church," he said.

He said the horn was first used by Prophet Isaiah Shembe in 1910 and it has since been used by church members during their worship services.

"And we are now busy finalising the legal settlement. We are vindicated because we have been accused before by many people," Mthembu said.

"We hope the LOC and Fifa will allow our members to play the instrument professionally with traditional drums."

Van Schalkwyk confirmed that he met with Shembe representatives and acknowledged the origins of the instrument.

"We cannot give details of the outcome at this stage but we are busy finalising the way forward," he said.

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