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Debate continues around actress Ndara’s open letter on the TV industry
8 October 2019, 9:20 PM

Veteran actress Vatiswa Ndara has reiterated that actors should not be dying in poverty – after she made allegations of performers being abused and unfairly treated by South African production houses.

On Monday, Ndara posted an open letter on social media, addressed to Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, stating her grievances on what she calls exploitation of actors in the television production industry.

She has since come out on mainstream media, elaborating more on the issues she raised in the letter.

Responding on behalf of Minister Mthethwa, spokesperson Asanda Magaqa says this is the first time the minister has been addressed in such a manner, but the minister engages regularly with stakeholders.

In Ndara’s letter, which has led to widespread engagement on social media, the actress specifically mentions “Ferguson Films”, which she worked for as an actress on a TV series – iGazi. Ndara mentions that she was offered R110 000 for a five week period in the series. She declined the offer and labels the owners of Ferguson Films as “slave masters.”

The Fergusons are yet to come out publicly on the matter.

Watch video below for more:

Social media users also engaged on the story, see tweets below:


SABC appoints new COO
2 October 2019, 5:15 PM

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has appointed Ian Plaatjies as its Chief Operating Officer, following the vacancy left by Chris Maroleng in April 2019.

Maroleng was subsequently replaced by Craig van Rooyen, who took the position in an acting capacity.

A statement released on Wednesday afternoon by the public broadcaster revealed the appointment.

Plaatjies holds an MBA, BA, Higher Diploma in Management Practice, Diploma in Electronics and Project Management.

He joins the SABC from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) where he is the Chief Digital Officer.

SABC Board chairperson, Bongumusa Makhathini says ‘The SABC Board, management and all its employees wish Mr Plaatjies well in his new role. He has the required expertise, experience and leadership skills to lead in this critical position. Mr Plaatjies will add tremendous value to the executive team headed by GCEO Madoda Mxakwe and joins the SABC at a critical time as the public broadcaster implements its turnaround strategy”.

Plaatjies will commence his duties from 01 November 2019.

Rage fever hits Johannesburg
27 September 2019, 7:50 PM

The Rage Expo, now in its 17th edition, is attracting many gamers and followers of the geek culture with the latest in Esports and gaming being showcased at the Dome, in Northgate, in Johannesburg.

The expo has a new sponsor on board and Project Manager Michael James says this is the first time this has happened.

“It is a first time we have a major sponsor like Vodacom is involved and this shows how much the event is growing.”

James says they are expecting around 40 000 visitors over the three days and people should lookout for exciting features over this weekend.

One of the main attractions is the Acer Predator Thronos gaming setup. The whole system is the next level of gaming hardware for hardcore gamers.

A representative from the company says there are less than ten of these machines in the country and it will set you back a cool R300 000 for the base model of the system.

The machine powering this gaming setup comes standard with 64 GB or ram and features two graphic cards each pushing 12 GB each. The display is made up of three  2560 x 1440 video monitors.

Another big attraction is the World Robotics Olympiad South Africa, where people of different age groups will participate. Children as young as six can take part in the contest where they can build robots using Lego blocks.

James says this is exciting for their young visitors as this is an opportunity for them to get a great experience of the event.

Showcasing local game developers

There are also a number of local game developers showcasing their games at the expo.

Dewald Bodenstein, lead developer at Quasistellar Game Development says this is a great opportunity to showcase their game. The game, Rectifying Zion is a Role-Playing Game( RPG) in its alpha stage of development and he says they have put in R300 000 to date on the project and are looking for a cash injection of about R1 million to take it to final stage of development.

Another developer, Morne Leander has developed a mobile game where the user gets to fly a paper plane through obstacles. Leander says they have received rave reviews and the game is currently rated at four and a half stars on the App store.

An android version of the game is in the works.

Many other activities will be taking place at the expo with Orlando Pirates players and hip hop star Nasty C expected to interact with the visitors on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The Rage expo runs until Sunday.

See picture gallery below for more:


Cape Flats remains crime hot spot
12 September 2019, 7:25 PM

Data from the 2018/19 Crime stats show that Nyanga and Delft, near Cape Town, appear as two of the most dangerous areas of residence in  South Africa. According to the statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) on Thursday, both these Cape Town settlements feature prominently regarding crimes such as murder, rape, car hijacking, house robbery, and cash-in-transit heists.

Nyanga is the top murder hot spot in the country, with 289 murder cases reported in the past year ending March 2019. This is followed by Delft, which has 247 reported cases and Khayelitsha, also in the Western Cape, came third with 221 cases.

The crime stats revealed a 3.9% increase in murders in the country.

Revelations of crime in the Cape Flats come as no surprise, the area is known to be a crime hotspot, with gang-related crimes being a regular occurrence.  Earlier this year, government intervened by deploying the army as a way of reducing violent crimes in the area.

Sexual offences on the increase

The Inanda police station in KwaZulu-Natal leads with the number of reported cases of rape in the country.  338 cases of rape were reported in the area located north-west of Durban, with Lusikisiki and Thohoyandou reporting 280 and 268 cases of rape respectively.  uMlazi and Delft also feature in these crimes against women with uMlazi having 262 cases and 224 for Delft.

The crime stats report reveals a 4.6% increase in sexual offences.

Aggravated robberies 

Nyanga also features prominently in the car-hijacking and house robberies.  Ivory Park, in the east of Johannesburg, has the highest number of reported house robberies; more than one case a day is reported in the area, with a total of 373 cases in the past year.

Honeydew, west of Johannesburg, has 329 and Nyanga is third with 266 reports.

Crimes against women and children

In the last few weeks, the country has been in mourning after a number of cases of violence against women and children. The murder of UCT student, Uyinene Mrwetyana, boxing champion Leighandre Jegels and the case of self-confessed rapist, Nicholas Ninow have left the country reeling in anguish and pain from the everyday threats faced by South African women and children.

Whilst government is still trying to find ways to deal with these crimes – which seem to be an everyday occurrence in many parts of the country.  Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, has pleaded with the country to work together with the police in fighting crime in the country.

“Last week Friday we had a fruitful meeting with the institute for security studies. I am intending to meet other relevant stakeholders in the sector like Corruption Watch, Social Justice Coalition, the academic fraternity and all people that are willing and available to make a positive contribution to the reduction of crime. The joint intergovernmental approach to the fight against crime will also yield positive results going forward, because fighting crime is everybody’s responsibility.”

Most alarming on the report is the increase in the number of contact crimes across all provinces and the number of murders committed by children standing at 736 in total.

During this year’s State Of The Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa made a commitment to halve the number of violent crimes in the country within the next ten years.

For more see infographic below:



‘The President’s speech was sabotaged’ says SABC as three employees suspended
10 September 2019, 4:25 PM

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has suspended three employees and unscheduled one freelancer after what it calls a “sabotage of president Ramaphosa’s speech” on gender violence and xenophobic attacks.

A statement released on Tuesday afternoon states that the decision was taken after an investigation into the matter in question.

SABC group chief executive, Madoda Mxakwe says, “the SABC will not tolerate any acts or omissions that bring the public broadcaster into disrepute, and undermine efforts to eradicate systemic problems of malfeasance and maladministration plaguing the institution”.

On the evening of Thursday 5th September, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation through a recorded message focusing on the recent gender-based Violence engulfing the country and the recent violence in Gauteng concerning foreign-owned businesses.

During the broadcast, Ramaphosa made an error and instructed that the reading be redone.

The “blunder” quickly trended on social media platforms, with many accusing the public broadcaster of sabotaging the president.

The SABC says it will act decisively on any issues seeking to undermine the efforts gained in restoring the public broadcaster’s reputation.

SABC News and Current Affairs Group Executive, Phathiswa Magopeni says “any employee found to be involved in clandestine activities aimed at undoing the ongoing work to restore the credibility of the public news service, will be dealt with accordingly, within the confines of the SABC’s human resources and disciplinary policies”.

In the statement released, the SABC says the correct clip had been prepared but the production staff still chose to run the wrong clip.

Implicated employees have been given an opportunity to make representations.

Watch interview with SABC News GE, Phathiswa Magopeni:  


Read the full statement below:




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