Actresses Rami Chuene and Vatiswa Ndara have responded with dismay to the open letter statement released by the Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa. In it, Mthethwa addressed the open letters he received from Ndara and opera singer Sibongile Mngoma. Mthethwa said he could not be drawn to address each and every open letter addressed to him.
“In any case, the principle of the ‘open letter’ is centred on raising awareness and where possible, for the individual or office to whom it is addressed or pertains to, to do best to remedy the situation as far as his or her authority and function allow. In this regard, any further response would be tantamount to playing to the gallery.”
He added: “Regarding specific matters of allegations of unfairness in remuneration between employer and employee, the authority that has jurisdiction in this regard is the Department of Employment and Labour. Mthethwa said he urged artists to study and evoke the Basic Condition of Employment Act as workers are constitutionally afforded protection and relief therein.
Addressing the open letter from Ndara, Mthethwa said he had previously given Ndara the same advice in her grievance against the production house, Ferguson Films. In the case of Mngoma, Mthethwa said her specific allegations of “demands for kickbacks, stealing of her ideas and/or proposals” and “suppression to speak up” were viewed in a serious light.
“Let this be directly addressed and reported to the ministry in order that they be dealt with accordingly.” With specific reference to funding or lack thereof unfairly, Mthethwa implores Mngoma and any aggrieved party to furnish his office with details in order to afford these instances the necessary attention. Mthethwa said he will thereafter take up the matter with the official(s) concerned.
He added the ministry had been supportive of artists and found it unfortunate the “voices of the artists that have benefited from the department now known as “Sports, Arts and Culture” cannot be present when criticism of “lack of support is levelled against the Department and Minister Mthethwa as its head. Mthethwa said he wanted to reassure members of the cultural and creative industries not just of his sympathy and understanding, but his commitment to bringing about change in, among others, the often deplorable instances of exploitation and lack of transformation they face.
Chuene, who was recently axed from a television production by Ferguson Films, said Mthethwa’s statement left them with more questions than answers. She tweeted: “Did you just pass the artists onto the Dept of Employment & Labour? With all due respect sir, you’re heading OUR department. This is still in your jurisdiction before it even gets to DEL. Do better Sir.” (sic)
Ndara said she was disappointed at the response from Mthethwa. It’s almost as if the minister does not want to be accountable. Minister the industry is falling apart please act… excuse the pun.
In other news – Rami Chuene and Shauwn Mkhize watch #KwaMaMkhize at Shauwn’s house
Shauwn Mkhize currently has one of the best-loved reality shows in the country – Yesterday she invited her bestie, actress Rami Chuene, to watch the latest episode with her – Rami posted about the experience on her Twitter account.
Shauwn Mkhize and her bestie, actress Rami Chuene, had a blast watching Shauwn’s reality show together yesterday. Read more