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Ferguson Films to sue Vatiswa Ndara over ‘personal attack’ in open letter

Connie and Shona Ferguson, owners of Ferguson Films, will take legal action against veteran actress Vatiswa Ndara following her scathing open letter.

Ndara has called the Fergusons slave masters and accused the production company of underpaying her among other exploitative practices.

The actress posted a six-page letter to the Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa asking him to take action against the unfair working conditions faced by actors in the industry.

Ndara, the star of popular DStv drama ‘iGazi’ announced that she would not be returning for the show’s third season.

Entertainment commentator Phil Mphela confirmed that the Fergusons have consulted with their lawyer on the matter.

According to Mphela, the Fergusons apparently find the open letter to contain misinformation and have labelled Ndara’s words as a personal attack.

Meanwhile, Minister Mthethwa has acknolweged receiving the letter from the Ndara.

His ministerial spokesperson, Asanda Magaqa, says the minister is fully aware of the conditions faced by actors.

He’s aware of the conditions that workers in the creative industry face.

— Asanda Magaqa, spokesperson for Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa

Magaqa says that broadcasters should also be held accountable, in addition to production companies.

Once that [production] has been resold to another broadcaster, South African practitioners and actors do not get their royalties.

— Asanda Magaqa, spokesperson for Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa

Magaqa says the Copyright Amendment Bill and Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill are some of the legal instruments that could combat the exploitation of actors in the future.

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