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Popular SABC1 actor Masoja Msiza, better known as Nkunzi on the channel’s soapie Uzalo, has left managers of Mdantsane’s popular tavern Es’larheni seething after he cancelled his appearance at the tavern at the weekend.

Msiza, who plays a ruthless and unscrupulous gangster in the soapie, was paid an appearance fee of R18,000 by event organisers Esona Masele and Zukisa Robiyane.

The two accused Msiza of refusing to pay them back after he cancelled, citing his TV shooting schedule.

The two said they were forced to hire two lesser known actors from the same soapie for a combined fee of R30,000 to make up for the loss of their drawcard, Nkunzi.

The Dispatch has seen a deposit slip showing payment apparently made to Msiza for the NU11 tavern’s ninth birthday celebration on Saturday.

The amount was deposited by Robiyane into Msiza’s account on November 13. The Dispatch has seen a screenshot of a WhatsApp message from Masele to Msiza asking for the refund. On December 10 the message was blue-ticked, meaning it had been read.

Masele said the cost of the cancellation went beyond the fee. He said his room was flooded with 2,000 “useless” pamphlets, 60 A1 posters and 30 stickers that were to have advertised Msiza’s appearance. “Too much money and work went into marketing the event. We even distributed flyers at events and public places,” said Masele.

Masele said they had booked the actor after learning that he was going to attend the Eastern Cape Music Awards at the Abbotsford Christian Centre on Saturday.

Masele said: “He first charged us a staggering fee, but we negotiated with him and pointed to the fact that he would already be here. We pointed out that he should not charge us his normal fee because we would fetch him from Abbotsford and take him to Mdantsane and no flights or accommodation fees were involved.”

Masele said the actor agreed to a fee of R20,000 to appear at the celebration. “We deposited R18,000 and promised to give him the remaining R2,000 at the celebration. He agreed,” said Masele.

But Msiza called Masele four days before the event and cancelled, saying he would be shooting scenes with Uzalo in Durban on the day and that his entire trip to the Eastern Cape had been cancelled.

“He apologised and offered us his colleague Sibonile Ngubane, who plays Khathaza”

Masele said he approached Ngubane and told him to get their R18,000 from Msiza, to use the money to book his flights and pocket the rest.

Masele said: “Ngubane called saying Nkunzi told him he had used the money and that he would not be coming. I had to pay Ngubane.”

“Since Nkunzi (Msiza) was so popular, we thought we should get a second actor to bolster Ngubane and we got Fikile [Nelisa Mchunu] who was in Port Elizabeth at that time. We paid the artists R15,000 each.”

The Dispatch called Msiza several times and sent text messages. He failed to respond to our questions sent by text.

Source : Dispatch

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