Generations CCMA appeal falls flat

NOTE: Article first appeared on The Citizen website on October 14, 2014.

The 16 Generations actors who have now been without work for two months, took their matter to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) today.

FILE PICTURE: Fired Generations actors Zolisa Xaluva, Menzi Ngubane and Mandla Gaduka look on during a press briefing at Cosatu House in Braamfontein, 15 September 2014. Picture: Refilwe Modise
FILE PICTURE: Fired Generations actors Zolisa Xaluva, Menzi Ngubane and Mandla Gaduka look on during a press briefing at Cosatu House in Braamfontein, 15 September 2014. Picture: Refilwe Modise

They sought recourse from their employers, the SABC and MMSV Productions, for their collective dismissal. The 16 took the matter to the CCMA as the Generations Actors Guild (GAG) after prior efforts to negotiate with their employers failed.

This pattern of refusal continued today as the SABC and MMSV Productions refused to settle the matter. In a statement GAG said: “The matter will continue on to arbitration. For the cast, there is a sense of relief that the process has begun.”

The actors’ legal advisor Bulelani Mzamo said it was important to remember that this process may be a long one. “There is a considerable amount of work that needs to go into demonstrating the basis of this claim to the CCMA – the CCMA, in turn, has its own process of how it responds to each claim, and their recommendation on the most suitable remedy to the dispute,” Mzamo said.

Why Generations actors were axed – Mfundi Vundla (audio)

In a joint statement the actors said: “From the outset, we acted within the definitions of the agreement and the law – despite a string of broken promises from our former employers. We look forward to putting our case before the CCMA and commencing on achieving a much-deserved legal remedy to our unilateral dismissal.”

Apart from the CCMA appeal, GAG now want to open a civil case against their employers “for a transparent calculation for the commercial exploitation fees owed to us for use of the episodes and our images”.

The soapie which is now off air, is being rewritten – presumably with a new cast – and will return to screens in December.

GALLERY: Actors who got axed from Generation

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TB Joshua may face legal action

NOTE: Article first appeared on The Citizen website on October 9, 2014. 

A man who lost his sister when a guest house of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Nigeria collapsed almost a month ago wants to take legal action against the church.

Mpho Molebatsi said this week his “anger was directed at TB Joshua and his church”, adding the incident had left far too many people traumatised not to take further action.

According to weekend reports, the evangelist pastor from Nigeria, TB Joshua, has sent teams to hand over gifts to the families of the 84 deceased South Africans.

The gifts included money, anointed water and maize meal.

TB Joshua. Picture: Supplied
TB Joshua. Picture: Supplied

But Molebatsi said he wanted nothing from the pastor.

“You can’t pay for a funeral with that. He can take the R5 000 and shove it,” he said.

Molebatsi’s sister, Hlubi, has not been returned to South Africa yet.

SLOW PROCESS

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams said earlier this week Nigerian authorities were in the process of conducting DNA analyses on the bodies of the 115 people killed in the building collapse.

The process of repatriating the bodies to South Africa had been slow, she said.

“The Nigerians said they will draw the DNA samples themselves and appoint a service provider to run the tests. Only then can we begin to compare results with our data.”

The service provider may be South African, but that remains unclear.

She said the Nigerian government had made it clear South Africa would not have access to the bodies.

“They insisted we aren’t going to touch those bodies … even though they don’t have the technology to do some of the testing,” Williams said.

GOVERNMENT’S PROMISE

The South African government has promised the bodies would be returned to the right families, but that might be difficult as it’s hard to get fingerprints from decomposing corpses.

Molebatsi said the time families had been given for repatriation was a week or two, and they “could only hope” this timeline was accurate.