Following her scathing open letter to Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation Minister Nathi Mthethwa regarding the status quo of the South African entertainment industry and how this impacts performers negatively, actress Vatiswa Ndara has finally gotten a chance to sit down with the minister to further air her grievances.
She confirmed their meeting in a tweet after they concluded and confirmed that he would be sharing his response to her letter in due course.
Just had a meeting with Minister @NathiMthethwaSA giving me an opportunity to expand on the issues raised in the Open letter. He'll respond to it in due course. He encourages SA creatives to not lose momentum and keep up the burning spirit of progress.— Vatiswa Ndara (@theVati_Can) October 9, 2019
In their statement posted on social media on Wednesday, the Fergusons said they supported the need for the industry to be regulated and the Performance Protection Amendment Bill needed to be signed "sooner rather than later", in addition to claiming that the allegations made by Ndara and other actors "painted a false picture".
The couple added that they did attempt to negotiate with Ndara and her agent "in good faith" after her opening request for R700,000 for the proposed five-week period.
“The agent subsequently recused himself from the negotiations. Thereafter we dealt with her manager. They made it very clear that Ms Ndara would not accept anything less than R700,000 for the 5-week shoot. She absolutely had every right to decline our offer, which she did, and we, on the other hand, as we could not meet her financial demand, due to contractual restraints, had every right to move on amicably, which we tried to do,” reads part of the statement.
The couple added that they did not reap financial benefits through broadcasts, licensing deals and repackaging of the show, as claimed by Ndara in her letter.
“We are pretty much in the same boat as the artist. We do not own the shows we produce under commission,” they said.
On their lavish lifestyle, the Fergusons said they did not owe anyone an explanation on how they managed their finances and lifestyle, adding they had other business interests apart from their production company.
“The jab from Ms Ndara is petty, unnecessary, and uncalled for.”
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