Muvhango founder wins lawsuit against newspaper

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 4: Muvhango executive producer Duma ka Ndlovu at the launch of the Royal Soapie Awards on April 4, 2013, in Durban, South Africa. The awards is the brainchild of Winnie Modise, in an effort to excel and encourage those in the industry. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Vathiswa Ruselo)

The creator of popular television soapie Muvhango said he has won a lawsuit for an undisclosed amount of money against the Sunday Sun newspaper over its report that claimed he embezzled government money.

Duma ka Ndlovu, who owns Word of Mouth Productions that produces SABC2 soapie Muvhango, shared the outcomes of the legal battle on his Facebook page on Monday night. He said the matter started two years ago when Sunday Sun reporter Menzi Jele phoned and asked him a few questions about a cultural village in his hometown of Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal.

“I answered without even giving the matter much thought,” wrote Ndlovu.

“I was shocked that very Sunday when the Sunday Sun ran a story that said I had taken government money meant for a cultural village in Bergville and built a cultural village in Limpopo to shoot Muvhango. I flipped. I was livid. I decided to sue the Sunday Sun. Well, my lawyers have just told me that there will be a significant balance in my bank account very soon.”

Ndlovu said he knew Jele very well before the paper ran the story. He added that everyone in Bergville also knew he was not involved in the building of the village and the embezzlement of the money that followed.

“I have not seen his (Jele)’s byline in the newspaper in a while. I can only suspect as to what happened to him after Sunday Sun lost the case. Newspapers do not want to lose cases. They like to keep people in courts. They like to win cases at the end of the day. Sometimes they call it press freedom! I hope Menzi is well, wherever he is. But I hope that he has learnt a lesson that this practice of journalists writing whatever they think they can write about people comes to an end.”

Ndlovu is also a revered playwright and former journalist who began his journalism career in the 1970s at the now defunct World newspaper.

today in print