Failed concerts, unpaid bills and lawsuits: The story behind the SABC concert promoter

2016-09-16 15:40
Empty SABC concert,screengrab,YouTube
Empty SABC concert,screengrab,YouTube

Cape Town – On Saturday 10 September, a concert was held at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg to ‘thank’ South African national broadcaster, the SABC, and it was a failure in all senses of the word. 

Artists on the bill were not paid and rightfully didn’t show up, very few people attended and it was very badly organised, according to people who were there .

The Juice went on an investigative search into one of the main men behind the event: Morris Roda, whose legal name is Sipho David Roda. We found other failed concerts, artists and suppliers who were not paid and a lawsuit that led to a liquidation. 

Concerts that he has been involved with that have failed, other than the SABC concert: 

2006 - The cancelled Ashanti concert

American RnB singer Ashanti was due to perform in Johannesburg in 2006 but the concert was cancelled. 

2009 - The failed Miriam Makeba Tribute concert 

This event was supposed to be a tribute to Miriam Makeba, but turned belly up when the Department of Arts and Culture withdrew their support and demanded their money back. A court case then ensued and it resulted in the department obtaining a default judgment against Roda, to recover sponsorship money paid for the show. Roda was given 10 days to repay the money.

2010 - The cancelled Robin Thicke tour

Robin Thicke was due to perform in South Africa in 2010 at a concert promoted by Morris Roda’s company but the event was cancelled just before it was due to happen. No reason was given.

Subsequent business woes:

In 2013, Morris Roda Productions CC was then liquidated according to the government gazette in a note published in July 2013.

Here’s that announcement:

Moris Roda Liquidation government gazette 26 July

Here are the 3 companies registered with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission under the name Morris Roda:

Morris Roda Company info

There is another company called the MRP Group (formed in 2014); which is the name of the company which is involved in the now rescheduled Joburg Live Loud festival. Morris Roda is managing director of the MRP Group and sources at the upcoming festival state that he is involved with it.

Here's that company registration info:

MRP Group

We spoke to artists who have dealt with him

We called several artists who were due to perform at the SABC concert and are scheduled to perform at the Joburg Live Loud festival. All the artists we spoke to confirmed speaking to Morris personally and that there were payment issues at the event, as well as shambolic organisation. 

Reaching out to the man himself for comment

We called Morris Roda for official comment about all of the facts stated above and after initially hanging up on us (we called again) he asked how we know that he was associated with the SABC concert. After we explained that his company was listed on the official poster used to advertise the event, he said that he had no comment. 

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