Gig organisers cheat ailing singer

2012-01-26 09:25
Philip de Bruin
Cape Town - A war has erupted after a "fundraising concert" in Stellenbosch for the ailing pianist and songwriter Christa Steyn.

Some of the singers, who performed in November without pay, are furious and there is already talk of lawsuits.

The organisers of the concert, Maniac Music, took nearly two thirds of the profit for themselves and only paid a third to Steyn.

37 artists offered their services for free for the concert. Among them are David Kramer, Valiant Swart, Anton Goosen, Dowwe Dolla and Anna Davel.

The Bloemhof Girls' High School provided the venue for the concert free of charge.


The money would've been donated to Steyn to help pay for expensive cancer treatment she is currently receiving. She has breast cancer that has already spread to the chest cavity and liver.

According to the official income and expense statement that Rika Vermeulen of Music Maniac made available to the singers after the concert, the gross income was R39 402.

The profit from it was R16 902. It was divided further: Maniac Music took R5 648, another R5 648.89 was payed to Anele du Plessis (also from Music Maniac) for "organisation and stage management" and only R6 105 was paid to Steyn.

Vermeulen said on Wednesday: "Rumours that are lies are being spread and I have sought legal advice."

Even though it's not mentioned in the leaflets that Maniac Music will take a bite of the profits, "any artist knows that such a concert's profits are paid to the beneficiary after costs are covered",  she said.

Steyn's son, Douw Steyn, who dealt with the organisers, said he "will not comment now because the matter is with our legal team."

'Taken for a ride'

Kramer said he was very shocked and disappointed at how the profits were divided.

"Yes, they probably had a few expenses, but it is usually minimal. I did not hesitate to perform for free because I thought all the money will go to Christa. "

Goosen said he would certainly not have performed if he had known beforehand that the profit did not fully go to Steyn.

"I was stunned about what happened here. I think all the artists, and especially poor Christa, were taken for a ride."

Davel said: "My understanding of fundraising is that all profits go to the beneficiary and that everyone, wherever possible, give their services, time, energy and talent for free.

Rika used Christa's disease and medical costs as 100% motivation to get 37 artists on stage for free."

Davel flew on her own costs from Johannesburg to Cape Town for the show.



  • Johan - 2012-01-26 10:45

    Come on Rika Vermeulen & Music Maniac, why don't you offer your services for free too, like it was expected from the others? Give her the full R39 402.

      Fred - 2012-01-26 10:53

      Yeah! Too many of the charity organisers help themselves first.

  • lindaawhelan - 2012-01-26 11:02

    If the artists played for free and the venue was free, where did the R22,500 costs come in? If those were organising costs from Maniac Music, then it seems they have been paid three times. Absolutely shameful how they have exploited a sick woman and the good will of others for their own gain.

  • Kevin - 2012-01-26 11:38

    Surely in a fund raising concert of this nature [to help someone in desparate need] everybody, and I mean everybody, should give of their time INCLUDING the people who organised it. If they had direct expenses ie. money that they had to outlay, by all means recover their expenses but the rest should go to the intended beneficiary. Just a thought!!!

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-26 13:35

    No one does anything for free...ever, the entire concert was more to do with a profitable return than helping anybody. Corporate culture trumps killer disease every time.

  • eon.engelbrecht - 2012-01-26 17:46

    I can't believe this- This is bloody revolting! To use a concert for a very sick person to make yourself rich. The wheel turns and boy this one will spin your ass off...

  • Denise - 2012-01-28 12:06

    The wheel turns. Who would ever use Maniac Music now? Who would trust them? They are finished.

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