SABC COO is a pathetic liar - union

2014-08-26 18:42

Johannesburg - SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng is a liar, the general secretary of the Creative Workers Union of SA said on Tuesday.

"Hlaudi is a pathetic liar," said Eugene Mthethwa in Johannesburg.

"We have evidence, e-mails and meetings, to prove that he is a lying about this dispute."

He was speaking at a media briefing, attended by the 16 Generations actors who went on strike.

His allegations about Motsoeneng were refuted by the SABC on Tuesday. The SABC said it had "no idea what Mthethwa was talking about".

"They can walk over my dead body before he fires them [the actors]," said Mthethwa at the briefing.

He said the actors would only go back to work once their demands were met. "If they fire one they must fire all."

The actors, who were fired last week, formed the Generations Actors Guild (GAG).

GAG was formed to improve salaries and the working conditions of the 16 actors, as well as all actors at the SABC.

Many of them who were seated on stage at the Barney Simon theatre in Newtown became emotional during the briefing.

Actors who were fired and were members of GAG include Menzi Ngubane, who plays the character of ruthless businessman Sbusiso Dlomo, Nambitha Mpumlwana (Mawande), Patrick Shai (Patrick Tlaole), Sophie Ndaba (Queen Ndaba), Seputla Sebogodi (Kenneth Mashaba), Winnie Ntshaba (Khetiwe Buthelezi) and Katlego Danke (Dineo Dlomo).

They claimed that the broadcaster and the production company MMSV had failed to deliver on promises it made to them during their strike last year.

They were reportedly promised three-year contracts which they had not received. They also wanted salary adjustments.

Mthethwa said the contract came from negotiations that were made in July last year.

He stood on stage with folders of documents, which he claimed contained the evidence to prove this.

‘We will not be held ransom’

Motsoeneng said during a media briefing on Friday that the public broadcaster would not be held to ransom by the actors.

"We are not going to be held ransom. When there is dispute with workers they still need to come to work," he told media in Johannesburg at the time.

"If you have issues at work you cannot say 'I'm not going to work'. This is anarchy, which we cannot allow at the SABC."

He had told the actors he understood their complaints but they should go to work as there were processes that needed to be followed to resolve their issues.

"We agree we need to treat actors with dignity because they are not just entertainers, but workers."

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told Sapa on Tuesday that the public broadcaster was not aware of the claim that Mthethwa made regarding Motsoeneng.

"He [Mthethwa] can’t substantiate this, we don't know what he is talking about," said Kganyago.

He said Mthethwa should not personalise the matter.

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