MultiChoice denies 'Shaka Ilembe' script was 'stolen' by writers
MultiChoice has dismissed an allegation the intellectual property for the Shaka Ilembe series was stolen by the writers or producers of the show.
The pilot episode was aired on Sunday night amid a claim by Themba Ndaba of Teddy Bear Pictures that he and his team had conceived the idea for the movie King Shaka Zulu: The Warrior King in 2012, which was allegedly stolen by Bomb Productions.
MultiChoice spokesperson Litlhare Moteetee told TimesLIVE they had received a letter “regarding the alleged copyright infringement”.
Moteetee said MultiChoice and Bomb Productions had spent seven years “crafting and creating the Shaka Ilembe series, drawing information from various authors, historians, Nguni cultural experts, the Zulu royal family and other stakeholders.
“MultiChoice is confident that there is no merit to allegations that intellectual property was stolen by the writers or the producers.
“Shaka Zulu is a well-known historical figure admired by South Africans and the world, and his story and history has been widely shared and taught.
“We are proud that we can finally tell the story from the perspective of Africans.”
Ndaba said he had planned to release his production five years ago, but lack of funding had presented a challenge.
By the time they had secured government funding in 2017, Ndaba alleges Bomb Productions already had information about the show.
“People already knew what we were working on, so Bomb Productions ran with the idea faster than we did. They got funds and did the story, because they saw that it was the gold they’d been looking for,” Ndaba told media.
Ndaba and an investor in the project, Nomusa Heather Wynn, have mandated NPO and advocacy group Intellectual Property Justice to take up the cudgels on their behalf.
Tebogo Sithathu, the head of Intellectual Property Justice, said Ndaba suspects the script he devised was “stolen” by a colleague who then presented it to Bomb Productions.
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