Poet and SABC Thank You concert organiser Mzwakhe Mbuli says he fears for his life, as some artists who performed at Orlando Stadium at the Thank You concert have threatened him over nonpayment.
Speaking to Sowetan, Mbuli said he had been receiving calls day and night from artists who had not been paid for performing at the concert.
Mbuli told the publication he had already told musicians they did not have the money and were waiting for the department of arts and culture to bail them out.
But the artists are reportedly having none of it, as Mbuli told the publication he feared for the staff and his life. He said most artists did not believe him when he said he did not have the money.
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Sadly, the department has reportedly distanced itself from the concert, though its banners were displayed during the event.
Spokesperson for the department Zimasa Velaphi told the publication they were approached with a proposal to support the concert but never made any commitment to support the concert.
But the poet said the department was supposed to contribute R3 million. He said they went ahead with the concert despite the shortage of funds and its dependence on handouts from the SABC. The poet further said he had borrowed R1 million to pay 40 artists.
Organisers still owe the venue about R600 000.
Now the organisers are faced with a dilemma, as the department said it did not commit any support to the event, and the SABC said it had played its part as a media sponsor.
The festival featured Rebecca Malope, Arthur Mafokate, Chomee, Trompies, Deborah Fraser, Doc Shebeleza and Mandoza, to name a few.
Before the concert, the Democratic Alliance (DA) criticised the the SABC’s decision to spend millions on the concert, labelling the move as “absurd and diametrically at odds with sound financial management”.
In a statement, the DA had called on Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to end the “wasteful expenditure” at the “expense of quality programming” by making sure the “ludicrous” concert did not go ahead.