Muvhango cast and crew have been given an ultimatum by the soapie creator Duma Ndlovu to vaccinate or lose their contracts.
Ndlovu threw down the gauntlet to actors and technical staff during a meeting to discuss austerity measures to curb company costs in the new financial season and to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
The actors, who have been at home as the producers and the SABC were negotiating new contracts, will resume their shooting schedule next month.
Three sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the actors had revolted against Ndlovu’s ultimatum and said it violated their constitutional rights. The anti-vaxxers have also threatened to seek legal recourse if they lose their jobs for refusing to comply with the ultimatum to take a jab.
They have also allegedly pleaded with the SABC, which is the proprietor of Muvhango, to intervene. “With so much debate going on about the safety of the vaccines, the actors are reluctant to get the jab, so they feel that Ndlovu is being unfair by forcing them to vaccinate if they want to keep their jobs,” said the source. Another tipster showed us the text conversation between them and one of the lead actors.
According to conversations, the actors seem to believe that the vaccine would interfere with their libido, paralyse or alter their DNA.
“This even though there is no scientific evidence to that effect, and such propaganda is being spread by conspiracy theorists,” said the mole.
A crew member also confirmed that Duma told the cast and crew members that their contracts would not be renewed if they did not vaccinate.
“We throw our full weight behind Duma, no vaccine, no contract. The actors are role models and they should lead by example. If they vaccinate publicly, that will encourage many people to inocculate, and the country will reach herd immunity quickly so that we can start rebuilding our economy, which has been tanked by this virus.
“There are so many actors who died of Covid-19-related complications since the outbreak of the pandemic and they should learn from that,” said the crew member.
Thespians who died of coronavirus-related complications include Shona Ferguson, Aubrey Moalosi, Frans Marx, Ben Kruger and Lieb Bester.
Mthembu declined to comment and referred Sunday World to Word of Mouth Pictures, which produces the multilingual soapie.
“Please note that these questions must be directed to Word of Mouth as this is an employer and employee matter.
“As Word of Mouth is an independent production house, they are the ones who hire cast and crew,” said Mthembu.
Muvhango’s publicity specialist Thanduxolo Jindela said the decision was prompted by millions of rand the company lost as a result of cast and crew taking sick leave after contracting the coronavirus.
“The company had to reschedule shooting dates and was forced to work overtime to catch up because we were behind schedule.
“This ballooned production costs,” he said .
Jindela also said they also wanted to create a healthy and safe work environment for all the cast and crew.
“It is also the constitutional right of other citizens to feel safe in the environment they work in,” Jindela added.
– Sunday World
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