‘I feel betrayed’ – Generations’ Mfundi Vundla (video)
Mfundi Vundla felt betrayed by some Generations soapy actors who allegedly painted him as an avaricious exploiter, he said on Friday.
FILE PICTURE: Generations executive producer Mfundi Vundla during a media briefing at the SABC offices following the termination of services of 16 actors from the popular soapie. Picture: Refilwe Modise
“I feel betrayed to some extent because when you work with people you develop a relationship with them,” said Vundla, who owns MMSV, the production company that produces Generations.
He said when his employees experienced personal problems, he would go beyond the call of duty to help them out.
“They are your friends, employees, and your social conscience demands that you do something about it.”
Vundla said there was a time when he paid medical expenses for one of his employees because he did not have medical insurance.
“He had almost a stroke and ended up at a private clinic with a blood clot in his brain. I paid a private hospital out of my own pocket. He is alive today.
“There are other things we have done for these actors, above and beyond the call of duty. So to be painted like this person who doesn’t care is unfair.”
Sixteen Generations actors were fired this week after they went on strike.
Not Paid Peanuts
The cast claimed that the broadcaster and 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.
Vundla said the actors were receiving an average salary of R55,000 a month, which was not peanuts as they had claimed.
“Generations lives. We are facing a risk but we have creative ideas and we going to come out strong.”
When asked if he would accept the actors back if they wanted to return to the soapie, he said he would, but on his terms.
He was accountable to his client and audience to deliver quality.
Open to Negotiations
SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng said the broadcaster would always be open to negotiations.
“My view is, come to work and negotiate. Only negotiations can solve all these problems.”
Motsoeneng also pointed out that in every situation there was always someone waiting to fill a position.
“It is a 50/50 situation because, if some people are going, some people are coming in.”
He said he had been approached by actors from other broadcasters showing interest.
With regard to the three-year contracts the actors had been promised, the broadcaster’s group executive, Verona Duwarkah, said these had not been signed.
The contracts could only be signed once agreement had been reached on the rates, Duwarkah said.