The Musicians Association of South Africa (MASA) has condemned allegations that the South African Music Rights Organisation (Samro) has been unlawfully deducting royalties from gospel singers in a scam dating back to 1963.
Artists who are allegedly affected include the late Miriam Makeba, Jabu Khanyile and Brenda Fassie as well as Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Benjamin Dube, Thoman Chauke and Rebecca Malope.
MASA president, Tebogo Sithathu, has called for transparency saying many artists are not getting even a fraction of the royalties they are owed.
“We need to investigate who is receiving these monies that are due to artists. So there seems to be a structural problem where there is a group of people at the top – mainly white and privileged who receive the bulk of the money.”
“So we need to restructure Samro, there is no doubt about it. And we are willing to work with everybody but people must be willing to transform otherwise that is where hell will break loose because if these people are not willing to transform we will have to transform them by force,” says Sithathu.