Mayor's drone idea stolen concept - Sefofa

Malo-A-Botsheba
Malo-A-Botsheba

Musician-turned-businessman Stephen Sefofa has accused a Limpopo mayor who has
deployed drones in villages to fight coronavirus of stealing his idea and "spicing it up" with technology.

Sefofa said he had approached the mayor of Greater Tzaneen municipality Maripe Mangena with his idea a few weeks ago to encourage communities to comply with lockdown regulations using his 10 branded bakkies fitted with loudspeakers.

"I even recorded the same message with him that has been used by the drones in both Sepedi and Xitsonga.

"I feel betrayed because I had prepared everything and I was ready to drive through the villages," he said.

Sefofa said on April 13 he went to his studio and recorded the mayor's message.

"The next day the mayor sent me a text message telling me to stop loud-hailing for now. From that day he never took my calls," he said.

Sefofa said the mayor should have communicated his intention to use the drones instead of keeping him waiting.

The municipality has enlisted the services of three drones to monitor compliance with the Covid-19 regulations.

Mangena confirmed to Sowetan that he held several talks with Sefofa but said nothing was promised.

"I told him to wait because I had a family emergency. Remember that we were looking at all measures available to fight the spread of coronavirus, and one of those was to make our communities aware through any means of communication," he said.

Mangena said the drones capture attention immediately and they spot transgressors through cameras and can easily deploy the police.

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