IDOLS NO-SHOW

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

BBC cameraman Mark Milsome dies in Ghana on the set of the Netflix miniseries, The Forgiving Earth, during night time stunt gone wrong; production shut down.


A British cameraman, Mark Milsome (54) has died over the weekend in Ghana on the set of the Netflix miniseries, The Forgiving Earth, when a night time car stunt went horribly wrong, with production in the show that has completely shut down.

Agent Sarah Prince on Monday told the Associated Press (AP) that Mark Milsome died in Ghana when a night time stunt sequence for the thriller series The Forgiving Earth went horribly wrong.

An investigation is now underway into what happened.

The Forgiving Earth is set to be broadcast in the United Kingdom by the BBC, and on Netflix in the rest of the world.

Previously called Black Earth Rising, the miniseries is a thriller about the prosecution of international war crimes and the personal, legal and political turmoil it ignites. It's written by Hugo Blick as writer-director, with Drama Republic producing.

Mark Milsome started out in the 1990s as a clapper loader, working his way up the camera department to focus puller, camera operator and director of photography.

Sarah Prince said Mark Milsone "was an incredibly humble and talented man. We are all devastated by his loss".

"We have very little information at present. The production company have confirmed that an investigation is underway. It occurred on a night shoot during a stunt sequence".

"We all need answers to this dreadful tragedy".

Mark Milsome previously worked on TV series like Sherlock, Game of Thrones and Call the Midwife as well as films like Saving Private Ryan and Quantum of Solace.

In a statement the BBC says "We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear this terrible news. Mark Milsome was hugely talented and a much respected colleague. Our thoughts are with Mark's family and friends at this incredibly difficult time".

Hugo Blick and Drama Republic in a statement say "It is with huge sadness that we confirm the death of Mark Milsome, a camera operator who was working with us on the Netflix/BBC production The Forgiving Earth."

"We are all completely devastated. Mark was such a wonderful, kind and generous person. All our thoughts and condolences are with Mark’s family and his close friends at this tragic time. Giving them our support and focus is our number one priority."

The Guild of British Camera Technicians in a statement says "The GBCT Board and its membership are absolutely devastated by this tragic news".

"Mark Milsome was not only an incredibly talented camera operator, he was also one of the kindest and sweetest of human beings. He will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers are with Mark's family at this awful time".

Netflix in a statement says "Our deepest condolences go out to Mark’s family and friends. We were shocked to hear of this tragic loss, and our hearts go out to all those that knew him and worked alongside him."

Bloomberg TV dumps Charlie Rose's The Charlie Rose Show after lurid sexual harassment allegations from several women of groping, lewd calls and walking around naked.


Bloomberg Television (DStv 411 / StarSat 264) has dumped Charlie Rose's The Charlie Rose Show and CBS News has suspended Charlie Rose where he's one of the three co-hosts on the morning show CBS This Morning after lurid sexual harassment allegations from multiple women saying he walked around naked in front of them, made lewd phone calls and groped their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

Bloomberg Television that record and broadcasts Charlie Rose, produced by Charlie Rose Inc., has pulled the show from the business news channel immediately.

"We are deeply disturbed to learn of these allegations and are immediately suspending the show from airing on Bloomberg TV and radio," Bloomberg said in a statement.

Charlie Rose has also been suspended from CBS, where he co-hosted CBS This Morning since 2012.

"Charlie Rose is suspended immediately while we look into this matter. These allegations are extremely disturbing and we take them very seriously," CBS News said in a statement.

Eight women, who were either employees or prospective employees of Charlie Rose, told The Washington Post that he sexually harassed them, made unwanted sexual advances toward them, made lwed phone calls, walked around naked in front of them, and groped their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

Charlie Rose in a statement says he apologises "for my inappropriate behaviour".

"I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realise I was mistaken."

Charlie Rose's longtime executive producer, Yvette Vega admitted that she had been told several times of his inappropriate behaviour, and acknowledged that she failed and deeply regrets not helping women who complained about his behaviour.

UPDATE Monday 21 November 2017 19:35 - CBS News has fired Charlie Rose.

CBS News president David Rhodes says Charlie Rose is fired.

"A short time ago we terminated Charlie Rose’s employment with CBS News, effective immediately. This followed the revelation yesterday of extremely disturbing and intolerable behaviour."

"There is absolutely nothing more important, in this or any organisation, than ensuring a safe, professional workplace - a supportive environment where people feel they can do their best work. We need to be such a place."

Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba not doing any interviews; getting 'assistance to deal with emotions' after Paxton Fielies won.


The Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba is not doing any media interviews at all at the moment and is getting "assistance to deal with emotions" according to Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) after he lost to Paxton Fielies who won the 13th season of Idols on Sunday night.

Mthokozisi Ndaba (25) from KwaMashu, Durban who've suffered several setbacks in life, is struggling to come to grips with the fact that he lost to Paxton Fielies (17) from Bishop Lavis, Cape Town and refused to attend the post-show media press conference on Sunday night.

After Paxton Fielies was announced as the winner, Mthokozisi Ndaba literally bolted from the stage while Paxton Fielies closed out Sunday's season finale with a song and the other top Idols contestants surrounding her as they traditionally do.

He became the first runner-up no-show in the history of Idols not to attend the press conference afterwards where winner and runner-up sit together and face the media, with Mzansi Magic that said he is "compose himself".

Nondumiso Mabece, head of publicity at M-Net local entertainment channels, says Mthokozisi Ndaba isn't doing any media interviews and is getting assistance to work through his disappointment.

"Mthokozisi has requested to be given time to come to terms with the result of the Idols show. He will indicate when he is ready to speak to the media".

"He is currently receiving assistance to deal with emotions involved in this situation."

As runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba doesn't go home empty handed - he won prizes worth more than R150 000, including R50 000 cash from Telkom, R50 000 cash from Capitec bank, R10 000 in vouchers from Truworths, a wireless handheld microphone from Sure of R30 000 and R25 000 worth of musical equipment from Yamaha.

Mthokozisi Ndaba was orphaned at 14 with his sister and went to life with his grandparents.

In 2009 he failed matric when his grandmother died but went back in 2013 and passed although in that year his firstborn son Ntandoyenkosi died. He'a also had to bury another infant son.

In February he was hit over the head and shot in both legs during a robbery at home with his guitar and laptop stolen, and he literally limped back to Idols, initially keeping the incident secret from the producers.

Earlier this year Mthokozisi Ndaba said besides singing his other dream is of doing a TV show entitled Save Me from Me that revolves around helping township youngsters involved with substance abuse to get help and to be connected with people and organisations who can help with the scourge of alcohol and drugs.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

AWKWARD. Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba stuns by refusing to show up for Mzansi Magic's post-show press conference; becomes first no-show runner-up in the series' history.


The Idols runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba (25) from KwaMashu stunned the South African media on Sunday night when he pulled a disappearing act and refused to attend the Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) post-show press conference after Paxton Fielies (17) was crowned the winner of the 13th season with the most of the over 30 million votes cast during the past week.

Mthokozisi Ndaba's seat behind his name card and microphone next to Paxton Fielies very awkwardly remained conspicuously empty for the entire duration of the press conference at Carnival City after the conclusion of the 2-hour live broadcast.

Mzansi Magic executives and Idols producers, themselves caught on the backfoot and without time to even remove his name from the table, simply told the press that Mthokozisi Ndaba is "composing himself".

With his no-show he became the first runner-up ever in the 13 seasons of the show not to appear alongside the winner before the media.

In the past the Idols runner-up would always also face the media, discuss their plans moving forward, accept their prizes and graciously congratulate the winner.

M-Net always releases the final voting tally and voting statistics over the course of the season after two weeks following a season finale, so it's not yet known by how many more votes and what voting percentage Paxton Fielies won over Mthokozisi Ndaba.

There are some things to keep in mind, as a lot of personal psychology come into play in every person's life - even more so for those whose lives are on public display and when they're suddenly thrust into the harsh glare of fame's spotlight.

While everyone's success in the world of showbiz is often built on the rejection experienced by someone else, is does take a lot of courage, and often practice and experience to force a smile or to give a hug when you're not the one winning the Oscar, or not the one crowned the new Miss South Africa.

Mthokozisi Ndaba was orphaned when he was 14 and failed matric in 2009. He went back and passed in 2012.

Then in February this year he was shot in his leg during a traumatic robbery at home.

He literally limped back to the competition, and initially kept what had happened a secret from Idols producers.

Obviously his loss on Sunday night became too much for him in the moment, a feeling that every single person who has ever had to lose any public competition knows and endures.

The right thing to do however is to show up for the end and conclusion, just as you showed up during the competition for its duration.

On Sunday night the Idols producers were specifically asked what type of psychological and emotional support the show provides to contestants during - and after - the show.

"We provide counselling of their choice. Some people ask if they can maybe see a pastor, some people want to see a psychologist, so we do offer all those services to the contestants. And whether they take them up is purely up to them," said Gavin Wratten, Idols executive producer.

"That is why we also have someone like a Donald Moatshe as the Idols mentor who's part of the team. His mentorship to them is not just about how to sing a song, but also how to deal with rejection in the industry."

"Because it is a reality show and this is basically what happens in the industry: You go and say 'Here's my single', and someone says 'Yes' to someone, and they say 'No' to somebody else."

"But we do offer as much support as possible. We have people with them 24/7, looking after them, and if there's any hastle, we've got a doctor on call, we've got everybody standing by," said Gavin Wratten.

Nondumiso Mabece, head of publicity at M-Net local entertainment channels, stressed that emotional support of Idols contestants "is not something that's only done at the end of the show. It's done throughout the show".

"On a weekly basis the contestants get an opportunity to speak to someone like a psychologist throughout the show. It's not just emotional after - like today - it's emotional what they go through every single week."

"Definitely the emotional support provided to Idols contestants is something that is very important to us."

Paxton Fielies wins the 13th season of Idols on Mzansi Magic as runner-up Mthokozisi Ndaba disappears and is a no show at the post-show press conference.


Garnering the majority of the over 30 million votes cast during the past week, on Sunday night Paxton Fielies (17) from Bishop Lavis in Cape Town became the winner of the 13th season of Idols on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161).

Meanwhile runner-up, Mthokozisi Ndaba (25) from KwaMashu did a a stunning disappearance act and was nowhere to be seen afterwards as he refused to attend the post-show press conference before the media - the first time ever in the 13 season history of the show that the runner-up chose not to be at, and sit at the winner's press conference.

The win of Paxton Fielies - who gave up her school year and dropped out in June to pursue her Idols dream with the permission of her mom Crystal - further cements Cape Town and the Western Cape's lead as the city over KwaZulu/Natal as the city and province that yielded the most Idols winners over the course of the series.

Paxton Fielies was the youngest contestant in the 13th season out of the Top 16 group.

The 13th season of Idols produced by [SIC] Entertainment once again racked up records, pulling in close to 100 million votes (just over 98 million) over the duration of the 13th season that once again was also not just a Mzansi Magic but an overall DStv ratings grabber.

Idols has been renewed for a 14th season, with nationwide auditions that will start on 28 January 2018.

TVwithThinus asked Paxton Fielies about her decision about dropping out of Grade 11 and with so much on the line - and if and how she will finish her studies, and if she feels vindicated in her decision.

"Me and my mom really had to sit down and actually discuss the pro's and con's but then again, this is an amazing opportunity and I kept procrastinating to enter competitions."

"This year, I thought, that 2017, is my risk-taker year. It was definitely a risk that was worth taking with my studies."

"I definitely will complete my studies. For me, time is not really something that bothers me. It's the fact that at least I know now [that I've won] where I'm going; where I'm headed."

"I will definitely completely my studies, whether it be through correspondence,online, study, home schooling. I don't think I will physically be able to go to school with shows and performances happening."

"But for me it's very important, it just depends on how I manage my time, but I will definitely finish my studies and do shows," said Paxton Fielies.

"I feel like I've learnt about a lot of new things. I experienced new things. I learnt about a lot of things in the music and entertainment industry during Idols."

'I knew this was a chance for me to discover new things'
"The highlight for me - except winning - is celebrating my birthday on the show which was amazing. And also I never thought I'd be performing on my birthday and for me that's always been a dream - to be working on my birthday."

"Idols has been a great platform for me to grow as an artist and as a person," said Paxton Fielies.

"There's still a lot to learn, but I'm ready to learn. I'm open to learn. For me every week was a difficult week, but what I always did, my supporters - they always drive me."

"Even if its 5 people, then I know that there's people who appreciate my talent and who are listening and who are supporting and I know those are the people who are going to buy my music."

"That's why I always say I don't consider them supporters. I consider them family because they've always been there for me, and they are the reason why I am here today."

Paxton Fielies said "I knew the platform that Idols provided and I knew that this was a chance for me to discover new things about myself as an artist."

"Sometimes I got criticism from the judges, maybe not such good comments, but I didn't let that get me down because I knew there were people voting for me and I knew that I worked hard."

"My goal is to make it internationally," said Paxton Fielies, who said that "I don't want to just be an R&B or just a pop artist. I want to appeal to different audiences."

"If you have a dream - everybody has a dream. But you have to execute and make that dream become a reality."

"There is no limit to what you can achieve if you work hard for it and you believe in yourself."

Gavin Wratten, executive producer, said Paxton Fielies is "once of the most grounded, level-head, focused 17-year olds I've ever met in my life. She's really awesome."


Growing social media interaction as important as ratings
TVwithThinus asked Reneilwe Sema, M-Net director of local entertainment channels what factor the social media interaction - the massive voting statistics for instance play alongside the actual TV ratings in a show such as Idols and when it comes to renewing it for another season.

Idols drew a new record of over 30 million votes for the final week before the season finale, and drew close to 100 million votes (98 million) in total for the season - a phenomenal feat that shows tremendous direct viewer engagement on second screens as they watch Idols on the first screen as a pay-TV show.

"The social voting element is key because it does prove the popularity of Idols," said Reneilwe Sema.

"The more engagement you have, the more popular the show is. So we look forward every week to see what the numbers are that come in. And the more people who vote, it means the more popular the competition is, the more intense the competition is, the more engagement there is."

"It's very important to us. And besides the ratings the social media interaction is important as well because it means the audience is engaging with the show on a weekly basis."

"To track the consumers and what they are saying about the show, is very important to us."

M-Net's Channel O celebrates its 20th birthday on DStv with a spectacular black-and-white Channel O 20th Anniversary music festival.


The M-Net packaged music channel, Channel O (DStv 320) celebrates its 20th anniversary on Saturday night with a special Channel O 20th Anniversary Music Festival that took place, and was filmed for a TV special, at Newton Park in Johannesburg.

People could buy tickets for the festival that featured a large array of artists, while M-Net also created a beautiful Channel O VIP section.

This VIP section was filled on Saturday night with "by invitation only" guests, music biz bigwigs and media from across South Africa who all came together to celebrate the TV channel's big milestone.

The Channel O 20th anniversary featured a line-up of legends who have been part of the channel's line-up since its inception on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform in 1997.

VIP guests in the black-and-white with a touch of gold side stage area sipped on champagne and snacked on chicken drumsticks, hamburgers, hot dogs and Chinese stir fry, while artists performed at the Channel O 20th Anniversary festival ranging from legendary DJs like Ready D, DJ Shimza, PH and DJ Sandiso to stars like Skwatta Kamp, Riky Rick and HHP.

Also on stage were Busiswa, the kwaito stars Trompies, TKZee and Tbebe, as well as Frank Casino, Nasty C and Benny Maverick.

A special "tribute segment" paid homage to music industry heroes who have passed away like Brenda Fassie, Flabba, Mandoza and Lebo Manthosa with artists doing cover versions of their most popular songs.

Okmalumkoolkat, Kwesta and Cassper Nyovest headlined the closing act at the Channel O 20th anniversary birthday special.

"In true Channel O style, we've pulled out all the stops for our 20th birthday," says Reneilwe Sema, M-Net's director for local entertainment.

"Two decades at the forefront of music entertainment is a remarkable feat, and we're dedicating this milestone to the artists, presenters, record labels and industry leaders who've enjoyed this journey of success with us; but most of all it's for the fans - music lovers past and present, without whom Channel I would not be the mega brand it's become today".

South African police trash interferes, manhandles and blocks SABC News crew from reporting at Beitbridge border crossing about the Zimbabwe military coup.


Trash South African police shockingly interfered and blocked the South African media from reporting freely - although the right to freedom of speech is enshrined in South Africa's Constitution - when the South African Police Service (SAPS) blocked a reporting and camera crew of the SABC's SABC News from doing a report from the Beitbridge border crossing.

An SABC News crew reported from the Beitbridge border crossing on Friday morning, alongside other South African TV news crews, covering one angle of the unfolding military coup happening in Zimbabwe.

An incompetent and clueless South African police officer shocking put his cap over a SABC News camera, during a live report on SABC News (DStv 404) - blacking out the visuals as SABC News reporter Mike Maringa and camera woman Vanessa Langa valiantly tried to do their job as journalists.

It's not clear why South Africa has trash police on active duty who are not aware of the rules barring them from interfering with the press and their reporting.

South African journalists and the media are allowed to report freely from any public domain and the South African Police Service (SAPS) is not allowed to interfere - let alone black out reporting and blatantly harassing and trying to censor the press.

The South African police needs to leave the SABC and SABC journalists, trying to do their jobs, alone.

"We are having a problem. Police officers have just closed our view. We'll have to cut it short. They are saying we are not allowed to be filming at the border gate," SABC News reporter Mike Maringa reported live while the police tried to block him.

Mike Maringa was standing in a public space while the South African police idiot put his cap across the SABC News camera lens.

Now the South African Police Services (SAPS) is describing its illegal interference in freedom of speech and harassing the press as "isolated".

"The provincial management of the South African Police Services in Limpopo has taken note of the incident that took place on Friday morning in which our members were apparently seen manhandling journalists of the SABC during the Morning Live programme at Beitbridge Border Post," says province police commander commissioner lieutenant general Nneke Ledwaba in a statement.

"We condemn the actions of these members and would like to take this opportunity to assure members of the community in general and the SABC, in particular, that the police are not in any way mandated to harass or manhandle any member of the media".

According to province police commander commissioner lieutenant general Nneke Ledwaba the South African police has "a sound working relationship with journalists from all media houses" - just not when they put their police caps over the cameras of TV news crews during live reports.

"We apologise unreservedly and we respect the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa with all its limitations and we have the responsibility of protecting all citizens, including journalists," says province police commander commissioner lieutenant general Nneke Ledwaba.

"We however, regard what happened this morning as an isolated incident which does not represent the general behaviour of members of the South African Police Service".

Sadly that is the general behaviour that South African and African viewers got to see on SABC News on Friday morning during the live crossing.

Province police commander commissioner lieutenant general Nneke Ledwaba said the South African Police Service will "conduct an internal investigation into the matter with a view of taking corrective measures".

Province police commander commissioner lieutenant general Nneke Ledwaba didn't name the police officer who tried to censor the SABC News reporting, and didn't say whether the person has been suspended and will face a disciplinary hearing.

The SABC condemned the South African Police Service's harassment of the SABC News crew.

"The SABC condemns these police actions with the contempt it deserves," SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told News24.

"These actions are shocking as the police are supposed to be protecting citizens and journalists."

"It must be emphasised that these unfortunate events happened after our news crew was granted permission to film on the basis that they will do crossings and conduct interviews outside the border gate," said Kaizer Kganyago.

SABC News crew, including foreign editor Sophie Mokoena, immediately deported back from Zimbabwe to South Africa after trying to get into the country after military coup.


An SABC News crew from South Africa trying to get into Zimbabwe to cover the Zimbabwe coup against the old dictator Robert Mugabe was abruptly deported back to South Africa and denied entry on Friday 17 November.

The Zimbabwe government didn't give any reasons for barring the SABC News journalists and crew entry into the country who tried to report from there for the SABC's SABC News (DStv 404) channel.

South African TV news channels - eNCA, SABC News and ANN7 - have been trying to play catch-up since Wednesday when news of the military coup first broke - trying to compete with the first-hand on-the-ground reporting from international TV news channels.

CNN International excelled and was the best in biz with its Zimbabwe coverage with at least two correspondents on the ground in Harare, while Sky News also reported from the ground in Zimbabwe, alongside Al Jazeera that has a news bureau in the troubled Southern African nation.

The news crew from the South African public broadcaster was deported after landing at the Robert Mugabe International Airport.

The SABC's foreign editor for SABC News Sophie Mokoena, reporter Noma Bolabi and others were barred from entering Zimbabwe.

MultiChoice to drop Guptas' controversial ANN7 channel from DStv in June 2018 according to reports; says it's not currently negotiating to keep ANN7 on DStv.


With Sunday newspaper reports saying that MultiChoice plans to drop the controversial ANN7 (DStv 405) channel from its DStv bouquet in June 2018 when the existing contract expires, MultiChoice on Sunday told TVwithThinus that MultiChoice has not been approached by ANN7 for renewal of the contract and that MultiChoice is not in possible renewal negotiations.

On Sunday the Afrikaans Rapport newspaper reported that the biased so-called "news" channel, slammed for driving racial division in South Africa and known for its ongoing litany of on-air blunders and mistakes, will disappear from DStv during June when the current contract between MultiChoice and ANN7 expires.

Afrotone Media Holdings is now the new holding company for ANN7 and The New Age with Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi as executive chairman.

So far more than 12 500 DStv subscribers have signed an online petition at petitions24.com .

The thousands of angry people are demanding, and explaining why, they want MultiChoice to get rid of ANN7.

DStv subscribers are saying that they don't want to be forced to pay for a channel where money is paid by MultiChoice to the highly controversial Gupta family whose involvement with South African State Capture has been exposed, and that is damaging South Africa with biased so-called "news".

In the past week The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) also asked MultiChoice boss Mark Rayner in an open letter to get rid of ANN7 and to come clean about MultiChoice's dealings with ANN7.

Further leaked emails from the Gupta leaks two weeks ago have shed further light on the insider contract negotiations and dealings between MultiChoice and ANN7, with MultiChoice paying hundreds of millions of rand of DStv subscribers' money to ANN7 for the channel to provide its distorted so-called "news" coverage.

On Sunday Rapport said that MultiChoice will dump ANN7, primarily due to the ongoing brand damage ANN7 is inflicting on the DStv brand by proxy.

According to the report MultiChoice has not Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi, nor has he made any effort yet to get in touch with MultiChoice.

ANN7 that has been used for personal on-air vendettas against politicians not aligned with the tarnished president Jacob Zuma, has also been a bottom-feeder in terms of TV news channel ratings on DStv.

MultiChoice in a quick response to a media enquiry on Sunday morning told TVwithThinus that it is not currently negotiating to keep ANN7 on DStv.

"We have a legally binding channel carriage contract for the ANN7 channel."

"We cannot comment on the terms of the contract (including the duration of the agreement) as it is subject to confidentiality clauses."

"We have not been approached by the owners of ANN7 for the renewal of the contract and we are not in negotiations for the renewal of that contract. Timelines for negotiations for the renewal of contracts vary from contract to contract and are dictated by different situations and circumstances."

"We are furthermore unable to cancel a contract prior to its expiry unless there is a clear breach of that contract."

"As we have stated previously, DStv is a platform that relays many local and international news channels, representing a wide spectrum of views - for instance SABC News, eNCA, ANN7, CNN, Sky News and many others."

"We don't have editorial control or any involvement in running the operations of any of these news channels, including ANN7."

E! Entertainment investigating Ryan Seacrest misconduct claim of behaving 'inappropriately' with an E! News stylist.


E! Entertainment (DStv 124) is investigating a misconduct claim against Ryan Seacrest from a stylist who used to work on E! News with Ryan Seacrest, claiming he behaved "inappropriately".

According to a stylist who worked at E! News a decade ago while Ryan Seacrest was an anchor on the show, he behaved inappropriately, although the details of what allegedly happened is not yet known.

"Recently, someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News, came forward with a complaint suggesting I behaved inappropriately toward her," says Ryan Seacrest in a statement.

He was the co-anchor of E! News on E! Entertainment from 2006 until 2012.

"If I made her feel anything but respected, I am truly sorry. I dispute these reckless allegations and I plan to cooperate with any corporate inquiries that may result."

"I treat all my colleagues with kindness, dignity, and understanding, as this is a principle that's core to who I am."

"Throughout my 25 years in the entertainment industry, the majority of my co-workers have been women, and I've endeavoured to foster a positive work environment of mutual respect and courtesy, as that's how I believe it should be."

"I'm distraught that anyone or any situation would call that into question. I'm proud of my workplace reputation, and believe my track record will speak for itself. I’m an advocate for women. I will continue to support their voices," says Ryan Seacrest in his statement, who is back as the host of the revived American Idol.

E! publicist Joanne Park says E! is investigating the misconduct claim.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Talk with Kwangu producer confirms DStv Zambia yanked the show off Zambezi Magic after government interference; part of 'scary reality about censorship on the continent'.


As the MultiChoice and Zambia TV censorship scandal continues, the Talk with Kwangu producer Tarryn Lee Crossman confirms that the Zambian government interfered with DStv Zambia and M-Net in Zambia and ordered the show off the air, as she opened up about "scary reality about censorship on the continent".

MultiChoice and M-Net, Africa's largest TV platform, has a growing free speech and censorship problem as more and more African nations and authorities that doesn't support democracy and free speech are ordering content off the air.

The latest shocking MultiChoice Africa censorship debacle revolves around the show Talk with Kwangu that has seen its content forced off the air on M-Net's Zambezi Magic channel on DStv, a channel available in Zambia and some other Southern African nations outside of South Africa. 

Zambia's information minister Kampamba Mulenga initially claimed no Zambian government interference, but she blatantly lied. Now she claims blissful ignorance of not really knowing what's going on.

Talk with Kwangu producer Tarryn Lee Crossman is however speaking out about what really happened while Kampamba Mulenga now says her people were "misinformed" on the issue.

In a facebook posting Tarryn Lee Crossman says Talk with Kwangu that had UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema’s wife, Mutinta, among others on the show, did indeed upset the Zambian government.

The show was therefore ordered off DStv Zambia's Zambezi Magic channel.

"We produced a talk show for Zambezi Magic, Talk with Kwangu Wa Liwewe. It was a current affairs show that highlighted where Zambia is 53 years after independence," says Tarryn Lee Crossman.

"Two of the 9 shows were slightly controversial, looking at issues of press freedom and police brutality."

"In one show we featured Hakainde Hichilema's wife, speaking about his arrest. This has made the Zambian government very upset and the show has subsequently been pulled by DStv."

"I am sure this was a very hard decision for them to make, but it is also a scary reality about censorship on the continent," says Tarryn Lee Crossman.

Ngoza Kasunga Matakala, MultiChoice Zambia managing director, says "M-Net commissions a variety of producers across Africa to produce programming for its entertainment channels, however, not all of the programming goes on air."

"With regard to the Zambezi Magic schedules, at no stage has there been any engagement with government regarding content on Zambezi Magic," says Ngoza Kasunga Matakala.

Simon Witbooi appointed as channel head of Afrikaans community channel OnseTV on StarSat.


Simon Witbooi also known as Hemelbesem has been appointed as channel head of the Afrikaans community channel OnseTV that recently launched on StarTimes Media SA and On Digital Media's (ODM) StarSat satellite pay-TV platform.

Simon Witbooi, an artist, musician and poet who has also been a presenter on SABC2's Afrikaans magazine show Pasella, doesn't have any discernible broadcast management experience.

OnseTV launched on StarSat on channel 462 on 29 September.

"The management of OnseTV is very pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Witbooi to the position of channel head for OnseTV effective from November this year," says Jaco Ferreira, OnseTV CEO in a statement.

OnseTV says Simon Witbooi "posesses highly developed skill and understanding of digital content application in both the linear broadcasting as well as IP environments".

Little is known about OnseTV.

Neither StarSat nor OnseTV bothered to share with media any content plans or programming-specific line-ups or any programmatic publicity material.

Discovery appoints Susanna Dinnage as the first global president for Animal Planet as its American side is folded into the global division.


Discovery has appointed Susanna Dinnage as the first global president for Animal Planet (DStv 183) as the American part of Animal Planet is being absorbed into the global Animal Planet management as part of a reorganisation.

Susanna Dinnage based in London in the United Kingdom will now report to David Zaslav, Discovery CEO and Discovery Networks International chief executive and president Jean-Briac Perrette.

It means that Animal Planet will now be run globally from London.

Susanna Dinnage has been the president of Discovery UK and Ireland as well as the chief content officer for Discovery Networks International.

Running Animal Planet globally, Susanna Dinnage will be in charge of developing and commissioning animal programming.

"The animal kingdom and natural world give us all such joy and, in times of uncertainty, there is no better antidote than to spend more time immersed in the wonders of the world around us," says Susanna Dinnage in a statement.

"I look forward to bringing new talent and more adventure and reflecting the worldwide love of animals to every screen on Animal Planet. With a team based in London and New York, this is a great opportunity to work with a wide range of production companies across the world."

"As Discovery continues to strategically pivot and deliver our content to consumers across all screens and services, it is more important than ever that our brands are structured and managed in a way that best exploits their global potential," says David Zaslav.

"We are confident that this new global model, combined with Susanna's expert leadership and the worldwide appeal of our animal content, will maximize Animal Planet's power across linear channels and create new digital opportunities around the world."

Jean-Briac Perrette says "Susanna's creative prowess, commercial expertise and deep understanding of consumer viewing preferences across diverse markets has driven success for Discovery's international business for many years. This new structure will expand Animal Planet's strong heritage and affinity among passionate superfans across the globe".

National Geographic greenlits new docu-drama series, Valley of the Boom, tracking Silicon Valley's boom-to-bust story in America's 1990s.


National Geographic (DStv 181 / StarSat 220) has ordered a new 6-episode scripted and documentary hybrid series, Valley of the Boom that will track the 1990's technology boom  - and bust - in the famed American tech-start-up region known as Silicon Valley.

Valley of the Boom has been created by Matthew Carnahan who will also be the director and showrunner, and will produce it together with Arianna Huffington who started The Huffington Post.

"The provocative world of Silicon Valley has long dominated headlines and captured the public's imagination," says Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president and head of global scripted programming for National Geographic.

Valley of the Boom will premiere globally on National Geographic in 171 countries, including South Africa.

"We cannot wait to tell this timely, wildly unpredictable and captivating story of the early days of the dotcom boom and bust with showrunner Matthew Carnahan and his signature irreverent blend of drama, comedy and pathos."

Valley of the Boom will function like the MARS series, where a dramatised story is being played out, interspliced with real-world commentary from experts.

"We wanted to make something as disruptive and exciting as the people and the tech that came out of the Valley during this period, so this is a wild, hybridized, rule-breaking look at a truly remarkable time and place," says Matthew Carnahan.

"National Geographic has allowed us tremendous creative freedom, and I’m excited about making something truly new and different."

Arianna Huffington says "Silicon Valley and the technology that came out of it dominate our world in so many ways, both physically and culturally".

"But we can't understand the present without understanding how we got here. So I’m thrilled to be partnering with a master storyteller like Matthew Carnahan."

Nickelodeon cancels School of Rock as well as Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.


Nickelodeon (DStv 305) has cancelled two shows - School of Rock as well as Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.

"Nickelodeon is not moving forward with production on Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn and School of Rock," Nickelodeon said in a statement.

"We are extremely proud of each series, and thankful to the casts and crews for their work. The remaining episodes for both shows will continue to air on Nickelodeon through 2018."

School of Rock was based on the 2003 Jack Black starring film of the same name.

Travel Channel launches the second season of Durban Beach Rescue with a draft - does it perhaps need a raft?


Maybe a raft is in order for Scripps Networks Interactive's Travel Channel (DStv 179) that on Thursday did a media launch in Durban for the second season of Durban Beach Rescue while it sent out a 2-page press release to the rest of the media covering television awkwardly marked "draft".

Media didn't know if they're supposed to use something marked "DRAFT" in grey.

Later, after a media enquiry, Travel Channel reissued the press release without the "draft" watermark.

The Travel Channel on Thursday also had a media launch for the second season of Durban Beach Rescue in Durban.

Media covering television didn't know and wasn't told about it but saw it when photos were posted on social media.

For the first season of Durban Beach Rescue Travel also did media launches but only in Durban and Johannesburg.

The second season of Durban Beach Rescue, produced by Ruby Rocket Media and executive produced by Bronwyn Berry, will start on Travel on Monday 27 November at 20:00 with double-bill episodes.

The 12-episode second season will continue to capture the day-to-day challenges of Durban's lifeguards on the Wedge, uShaka, Umhlanga man and Bronze beaches in KwaZulu-Natal and even further north to Ballito.

"This time around the show is less about the crowds and more about the characters who work tirelessly to keep the holiday-makers safe."

Here is a teaser trailer of the second season of Durban Beach Rescue:

Actresses and female crew of The Royals on E! Entertainment slam suspended showrunner Mark Schwahn over ongoing sexual harassment on set.


Actresses and female crew members of the drama series The Royals on E! Entertainment are now speaking out to - detailing the ongoing and shocking sexual harassment from the series creator and showrunner Mark Schwahn who has been suspended this week.

Mark Schwahn was suspended after a barrage of sexual harassment allegations against him, made by the female cast and crew of his previous and longrunning series One Tree Hill.

In a joint statement on Thursday, signed by 25 actresses - including The Royals regular Merritt Patterson as well as several guest-starring and recurring actresses and crew members - they slam Mark Schwahn over the "repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew".

On Wednesday The Royals star, Alexandra Park, in a statement said that "I too, have been exposed to this reprehensible behaviour".

In a statement Elizabeth Hurley says "I feel sick to hear now that people were unhappy at that time and didn't dare speak up".

"It's totally unacceptable for anyone to work in a place where they feel unsafe. Measures must be put in place in every industry so that anyone who is experiencing intimidation can seek help."

Filming on the 4th season of The Royals, produced by Lionsgate Television and Universal Cable productions, ended in September. It's not yet known if the show has been renewed for a 5th season.

Here is the statement of The Royals actresses and female crew:


Upon reading a statement from the ladies of One Tree Hill, a statement from their Royal sisters could not possibly go unwritten.

Despite hearing rumours about his behaviour on One Tree Hill, those of us involved from the early stages went into the filming of the pilot hoping they were just that – rumours.

By the time we wrapped, this had irrevocably proven not to be the case. It became all too apparent reading their statement earlier this week that the betrayal and anger so many of us had experienced during our time on The Royals is not exclusively ours.

And we were angry then, and we are angry now.

This statement is a collection of voices from those women involved in The Royals who would like to finally respond to the behaviour of our showrunner. Who felt the inclination to abuse his power and influence in an environment where he had it over women who felt they did not.

This manifested itself in the repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of cast and crew.

Where we should have been excited to meet new female cast and crew members, we felt nauseating concern in case they too should have him track down their mobile number.

Where we should have offered our friends who auditioned for The Royals scene help and advice, we offered warnings about the man they would meet in the room.

More than all of this, where we should all collectively have felt pride over jobs hard won and roles much loved, we felt undermined as artists and creatives. And in many cases, no more than a sum of body attributes.

Whilst voraciously condemning the actions of one man, we would like to make note of our gratitude to others. Thank you to so many of The Royals men who ensured we were never alone in social situations with him and took two steps towards us for his every one.

Thank you to the friends, loved ones and partners who supported us at the time and ever more so now in coming forward.

But thank you most of all to the women of One Tree Hill, whose solid gold backbones have moved us enormously. To you we doff our crowns.
Kind regards
The Ladies of The Royals.
Hatty Preston, Sophie Colquhoun, Alex Watherson, Lydia Rose Bewley, April Church, Annalise Beusnel, Poppy Corby-Tuech, Florence Chow, Charlie Jones, Isabella Artitzone, Jade Armstrong, Rachel Walsh, Tania Vernava, Bonnie Vannucci, Merritt Patterson, Kate Benton, Jerry-Jane Pears, Jodie Simone, Kate Royds, Leonie Hartard, Lisa Mitton, Marie Deehan, Alice Woodward, Rachel Lennon, Kimberly Macbeth.

SABC1 to broadcast Cassper Nyovest's first two 'Fill Up' performances on Saturdays, starting with Fill Up the Dome on Saturday 18 November.


While rapper Cassper Nyovest is attempting to fill up the FNB Stadium with an upcoming performance, the SABC's SABC1 channel has announced that it will broadcast two of the rapper's previous "Fill Up" performances on Saturdays. 

SABC1 will broadcast Cassper Nyovest's Fill Up The Dome concert on Saturday 18 November at 20:00.

SABC1 will broadcast Fill Up Orlando Stadium, that took place in 2016, on Saturday 25 November at 20:00.

"SABC1 as a channel that prides itself with supporting youth development took a bold decision to partner with Cassper Nyovest’s Fill Up Orlando Stadium in 2016. It was through this particular partnership that the channel also attained licence rights to broadcast the two previous events starting with the first one, Fill Up The Dome on Saturday 18 November".

"For us, it is not only for the purpose of viewer entertainment but to encourage every South African child to dream beyond their fear and challenges and to work hard to achieve those dreams," says Zandile Nkonyeni, SABC TV head publicist.

Premier Soccer League (PSL) agrees to extend the deadline for bids for broadcasting rights after the SABC asks for an extension.


The SABC has asked the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to extend the bid deadline for broadcasting rights so the public broadcaster can put together a possible tender offer and the PSL has agreed to extend the deadline.

The broadcasting rights are up for the Premier Soccer League in Sub-Saharan Africa for the 2019 to 2024 season.

So far it's been held by MultiChoice's SuperSport for the past decade after the SABC failed to put in a bid 10 years ago when its existing deal expired and the public broadcaster lost the rights.

Currently the SABC sub-licensed broadcasting rights so that public access broadcasting viewers can see some of the matches.

PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza on Wednesday after the league's annual general meeting in Sandton revealed that the PSL decided to extend the deadline for bids after the SABC requested more time.

Last week the SABC in parliament was asked whether it would be putting in a bid for the PSL broadcasting rights and told parliament's portfolio committee on communications that it would put together and submit a tender.

The PSL put out the broadcasting rights tender at the beginning of this month with an original deadline of 10 November.

"We briefed the members of PSL about the broadcasting rights which were supposed to be finalized on Wednesday but we've had to extend the deadline until Friday."

"This was prompted by SABC asking for an extra week because of the appointment of its new board. We gave them that extension to make sure that they get the equal chance."

"But what was also unique was that this time around we got applications from Vodacom‚ Telkom and Kwesé Sports. So it will be quite interesting to see what will be the outcome of these bids."

The PSL broadcasting rights include linear television - both pay-TV and public broadcasting, IPTV, internet streaming and mobile broadcasting of league matches.

Thousands of concerned DStv subscribers want clarity from MultiChoice boss Mark Rayner on DStv's continued business with the slanted ANN7 channel, says OUTA.


The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) in a letter to MultiChoice boss Mark Rayner says thousands of concerned DStv subscribers want the pay-TV platform to drop the Gupta-linked ANN7 (DStv 405) that is associated with biased content and slanted reporting.

Outa wrote to Mark Rayner, questioning MultiChoice's "morality of DStv's continued business transactions with ANN7", and asking Mark Rayner to please respond on behalf of MultiChoice to the "growing demand for clarity of your organisation's position with ANN7".

MultiChoice was asked for comment about Outa's open letter to Mark Rayner about clarity on MultiChoice's position on ANN7.

MultiChoice says "we confirm that we received the letter from Outa. We've contacted them and we'll be meeting them next week to discuss their concerns."

Outa CEO Wayne Duvenhage says DStv subscribers are forced to pay for ANN7 and are directly funding the channel.

Further leaked emails from the Gupta leaks last week shed further light on the insider contract negotiations and dealings between MultiChoice and ANN7.

Hundreds of millions of rand of DStv subscribers' money is being paid by MultiChoice to the channel known for its distorted news coverage with ANN7 that that has been accused of inciting racial division in South Africa.

Unrelated to Outa's open letter, so far more than 12 500 DStv subscribers have signed an online petition at petitions24.com, that wasn't started by Outa, demanding and explaining why they want MultiChoice to dump ANN7 and that they don't want to be forced to pay for the slanted channel that they say is damaging South Africa.

MultiChoice as a pay-TV service is supposed to keep clients happy. It's not clear what exactly MultiChoice is doing about the thousands of DStv subscribers who are vocally complaining about ANN7.



Outa says ANN7 was "allegedly initiated with taxpayers' money and set up to support a political bias driven by the politically connected Gupta family".

"We believe the recent actions to cease doing business with Gupta companies by the banking institutions and and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange - ostensibly due to the Gupta family's deep involvement in State Capture and alleged money laundering - is sufficient for DStv to review its "business as usual" stance with ANN7."

Outa says "adding weight to this call is the growing dissatisfaction of ANN7's seemingly biased content and slanted reporting on current political affairs."

Outa says "ANN7 peddles 'fake news' and pro-Zuma propaganda, with the channel openly attacking those who take umbrage on matters of State Capture and corruption linked to Jacob Zuma,his family and friends."

"We remind you of the plight suffered by Bell Pottinger, KPMG, SAP, McKinsey and others, who believed that hiding behind confidentiality and contractual clauses would suffice as reason to continue their unacceptable conduct."

Outa is pleading with MultiChoice "to do the right thing" and to heed "the call by civil society, for greater transparency and decisive action against entities that conduct themselves in a manner that minimises South Africa's prosperity".

Rachel Kalidass quits SABC board, says they want to force through corruption-linked Alan Mukoki as CEO; says SABC created a 'cleaning up committee' to deal with 'bad publicity' of his appointment.


In a shock-move that again brought a renewed perception of instability to the SABC board, board member Rachel Kalidass quit in protest against what she says is the new SABC board's bulldozer plan to appoint the fraud and corruption linked Alan Mukoki as new SABC CEO.

Rachel Kalidass who said she feels she is being victimised as a SABC board member for voicing dissent, said in her shocking resignation letter that the SABC board decided to create a "cleaning up committee" to deal with the "bad publicity" when news comes that Alan Mukoki is to be appointed as the new SABC CEO.

Alan Mukoki was Land Bank CEO when shocking looting took place and the bank became insolvent as more than R2 billion was diverted to other spending that was earmarked to help emerging farmers. Alan Mukoki has faced an investigation for fraud and corruption for alleged mismanagement of the Land Bank's finances.

On Thursday the SABC was once again engulfed in controversy over Rachel Kalidass' resignation.

In her resignation letter, addressed to president Jacob Zuma, she explained how SABC board members are determined to allegedly push through Alan Mukoki's appointment.

Alan Mukoki has no broadcast management experience whatsoever in film, TV and radio with the SABC that is in dire need of experienced top executives.

A 2007 Deloitte & Touche forensic audit found that Alan Mukoki and his executives had - without board approval - diverted almost R2 billion meant for emerging farmers.

These included luxury golf estates, a sugar mill, equestrian estates and residential developments. Some of the beneficiaries of irregular loans were Alan Mukoki's business associates and politicians.

Alan Mukoki resigned and was given a R4.5 million golden hand-shake payout.

Alan Mukoki is married to Johanna Makgalemele, the sister of Tswelopele Productions owner Basetsana Kumalo. Tswelopele Productions provides a variety of shows for the SABC ranging from Top Billing and Pasella to Expresso and Tropika Island of Treasure.

Rachel Kalidass said Alan Mukoki's appointment as SABC CEO would be a conflict of interest.

Rachel Kalidass said she believes that the appointment of Alan Mukoki would hinder "the restoration of stability and integrity at the SABC".

The SABC posted another R977 million loss end-September with the Auditor-General(AG) that has described the SABC as "commercially insolvent".

"Despite the GCEO candidate having allegations of fraud and corruption leveled against him during his previous employment, as well as a conflict of interest with a significant SABC content service provider, the majority of board members were in favour of having him appointed as the SABC GCEO," wrote Rachel Kalidass.

"I specifically requested for my dissenting view to be recorded, which was received with great hostility by some of the board members present."

"Given this fundamental difference of opinion between me and many of the board members, I feel that it would be best to resign with immediate effect, as opposed to being side-lined and victimised, which I feel is now occurring".

Rachel Kalidass said the SABC board decided to "set up a "cleaning up committee" of board members' with media experience which would respond to the anticipated "bad publicity" following his appointment".

Parliament's portfolio committee on communication is set to meet with the SABC next week Friday, but the Democratic Alliance (DA) political party on Thursday said it will ask for the date to be made earlier due to the latest crisis that has engulfed the SABC following Rachel Kalidass' resignation and her revelations about Alan Mukoki.

Phumzile Van Damme, DA member of parliament in a statement said "Rachel Kalidass' resignation is a sign that the bad times are back at the SABC".

"It is deeply worrying that the decline at the SABC is following the same pattern as it did with the previous board," said Phumzile Van Damme.

"A candidate in Hlaudi Motsoeneng was forced through despite objections from some SABC board members, some board members' resignation, or were dismissed following their objections, resulting in a terminal downward spiral culminating in the SABC inquiry".

"The SABC is showing all the signs of going down that same road unless the decline is arrested immediately".



On Thursday afternoon the SABC scrambled to arrange a SABC board press conference at short notice for 17:30.

The SABC News (DStv 404) channel carried the beginning of the press conference where 9 SABC board members were present, but abruptly cut away after 15 minutes when the press started asking questions.

During the press conference SABC board members didn't deny that Alan Mukoki is the preferred candidate for SABC CEO and slammed Rachel Kalidass.

New SABC board chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini said the SABC board is "unified". He looked bad, since Rachel Kalidass' resignation and what she said, showed that the SABC board isn't unified.

Bongumusa Makhathini slammed Rachel Kalidass, saying "we're not going to allow rogue kind of people who get out of the board and go out there because they could not express their views in a structured and in a confidential manner".

The SABC in a statement on Thursday evening said "the process of appointing SABC executives remains unconcluded".

"Once a decision on executive appointments is finalised, the public will be fully taken into the board's confidence, and we will take pride in announcing the team that will manage the turnaround that we firmly believe will bring the SABC back stronger than ever before."

"Work done by the interim board has already ended the steady monthly losses, and is now focusing on the other major financial concern - marshalling forces to address the substantial remaining debt accrued during previous times."

"Rachel Kalidass' self-characterisation as a victimised whistle-blower is incorrect," says the SABC.

"She participated in aboard discussion in which no allegation of illegality was committed or contemplated."

"She then disclosed its content outside the board while the process was ongoing; giving the impression that it had been completed. Her conduct constituted a breach of board confidentiality."

Executive shake-up at MultiChoice as pay-TV giant makes Calvo Mawela new CEO; and moves Mark Rayner, Yolisa Phahle and Fahmeeda Cassim Surtee.


Naspers Video Entertainment announced a MultiChoice top executives shake-up on late Thursday afternoon with Calvo Mawela as new MultiChoice South Africa CEO, M-Net CEO Yolisa Phahle in a newly-created position as "CEO of general entertainment" and Fahmeeda Cassim Surtee upped as new DStv Media Sales South Africa CEO.

All the appointments and executive position changes are effective immediately. 

Firstly Calvo Mawela is taking over as MultiChoice South Africa CEO from the accomplished Mark Rayner who goes back to being MultiChoice South Africa chief operating officer (COO), a position he served in previously.

Naspers says Calvo Mawela will be responsible for MultiChoice South Africa and DStv Media Sales in South Africa, and will focus on "strategic developments in the pay-TV industry".

Calvo Mawela - not that well known in South Africa's broadcasting industry as Mark Rayner and Yolisa Phahle - was in charge of regulatory affairs and policy for Naspers Video Entertainment and began his career at signal distributor Sentech.

Mark Rayner returns to the position of MultiChoice SA COO, a position he held before moving to the CEO position. Naspers says he will focus on "ensuring product and operational excellence that will give DStv customers the best entertainment experience".

In an odd move, Yolisa Phahle, accomplished as M-Net CEO, is now moved to a new title of "CEO of general entertainment". Naspers did't clarify what that means or what the job entails.

It's also not clear if M-Net will get a new CEO, whether the position is vacant, or getting shuttered,or what as "CEO of general entertainment" what exactly Yolisa Phahle will now be in charge of. 

Naspers only says "in her new role, she will continue to ensure that our customers have access to world class local and international entertainment".

In another stratifying move, the accomplished Fahmeeda Cassim Surtee is promoted to the position of CEO of DStv Media Sales South Africa.

Chris Hitchings will however remain and continue as "overall" CEO of DStv Media Sales, according to Naspers.

Gideon Khobane will continue to head up the sport pay-TV division as SuperSport CEO.

"This is a strong leadership team who can to take us into our next phase of growth," says Imtiaz Patel, Video Entertainment chief executive in the statement announcing the executive changes.

"While the pay television business faces technological shifts, regulatory and competitor challenges, the core focus remains delivering the best local and international content to our customers, anytime, anywhere on any device."

"Calvo Mawela and Mark Rayner are an impressive team who will steer MultiChoice South Africa into the future."

"Their combination of strategic and operational skill and experience complement each other. Calvo Mawela is well-positioned to drive strategy and growth in our South African operations. He has a rich and varied experience in broadcasting and a proven track record in managing complex issues in South Africa and the rest of the continent."

"Mark Rayner has proven himself to be able to get the best out of the business operationally. His focus will be to deliver the best experience to customers in the best possible way, making sure we achieve our business objectives, including financial and customer satisfaction targets, and drive efficiencies."

Gallo Record Company: Idols finalist Paxton Fielies didn't steal anybody's song - leave the young girl alone!


While controversy and scandal is swirling around the Cape Town Idols top two finalist Paxton Fielies who allegedly stole someone else's song, Gallo Records has come out to defend the distraught 16-year old saying she didn't steal anybody's song.

The 13th season of Idols will come to a climactic end this Sunday in the live finale on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) with either Paxton Fielies or Mthokozisi Ndaba who will be crowned the winner, but fears are growing that an alleged song stealing scandal could be costing Paxton Fielies votes -something she is completely innocent of.

Scandal erupted after Paxton, singing her debut single "Demonstrate" in English, got accused of plagiarism.

A Twitter storm erupted after @ultboysrepubIic slammed the upcoming star for not giving credit to the Korean pop group Rania who sang a similar version of the song in South Korea in 2015.

"The kpop girl group Rania/BP Rania released a song on 5 November which was titled ‘Demonstrate’. Recently on the show SA Idols, the contestant Paxton performed a song titled ‘Demonstrate’ which seen below is almost completely the same as the original performed RaNia," said @ultboysrepublic.

"Not only is the song being performed without credit to the original artists who sang it or the writers/composers, it is also being sold without any kind of credit."

The outrage was immediate and, typical Twitter, the mob encircled the poor Idols finalist.


In a statement Gallo Record Company says "Paxton’s song rights were approved by the composer and their publisher" saying Paxton Fielies did nothing wrong.

"This version is in English and has different lyrics. It was presented to us as it has never been released in English before. All approvals are in place."

"It has come to attention that certain individuals on social media have accused Paxton of plagiarism and theft based on her debut Idols single “Demonstrate”. This is not theft. Paxton is the singer of the song only, she has not and does not claim to have written the song or to own the copyright."

"Very few people write their own songs when it comes to Idols," says Gallo Records.

"There is a difference between a composer or songwriter and a performer. Even big stars like Justin Bieber perform hits written for them by others. This does not mean they have stolen the song."

"Here are the facts: The song was presented to Gallo by the Publishers (Razor & Tie Music Pub. & Active Music Publishing) on behalf of their clients (Aimée Proal, Phil Bentley & Brian Kierulf who are the legitimate and original composers / songwriters of the song) for Idols consideration for the Top 3 as a single, since it was a perfect fit for Paxton, and had never been previously released as an English version. An English recorded version of the song did not exist."

"Gallo was unaware that any other previous version existed, in particular a version sung and released by a Kpop band in Korean, for the Korean market. In fact the written English demo version existed before any Korean version was adapted."

"Changes were done to the song and the English lyrics (by the original songwriter) for Paxton’s version."

"The Kpop version is also in fact not written by the band," says Gallo Record Company.

"They are also only the performers / singers of the song and as much as they say it's "their" song that only means they performed / sang a Korean version of it prior to Paxton’s English version and they did not write it either."

"It is written by the same composers and songwriters who presented the English version to Gallo and gave Gallo and Paxton their 100% approval and endorsement for Paxton to release."

"No rights infringement, no plagiarism, no theft. It is a talented young girl singing a song that was given to her to sing, presented to her label by the parties who wrote it, to release as her version in another language with lyrics reworked into English, with the approval of the publishers, songwriters and composers, who will also get paid, by earning royalty revenue from any commercial success."

"May we kindly request no further accusations or hate speech or slander directed at Paxton," says Gallo.

"Paxton is not on Twitter – there were a number of fake accounts that joined in the fray pretending to be Paxton, we have reported them and they have been suspended."