Muvhango actress Azwidohwi Malaka has become the latest victim of the soapie’s creator Duma Ndlovu’s axe.
Malaka, who played Pfuluwani, the second wife of protagonist Chief Azwinndini, was allegedly fired from the soapie for poor performance and late coming.
Malaka confirmed she left the soapie after her contract was not renewed.
“That contract ended and it was not renewed. I don’t know if you can call it a dismissal. I just didn’t have a role in the current storyline,” she said.
Muvhango publicist Amanda Ngudle downplayed Malaka’s alleged dismissal.
“She was not fired, the storyline didn’t have a story for her for the current season. She left at the beginning of the current season in August 2015.
“Her character did not die. If writers find an interesting story for her, she will be brought back,” said Ngudle.
Three cast members who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation confirmed that Malaka had been pink-slipped from the SABC2 prime-time soapie.
A cast member who has intimate knowledge of the matter said Ndlovu often complained that Malaka was coming to work late and often forgot her script lines.
“Early this year he told her that her contract would not be renewed. He said he would only call her whenever he needed her services but she sulked and left,” said the cast member.
Another cast member confirmed that Malaka was pushed out after some disagreements with the soapie producers on her contract.
“They called her to a meeting at the same time as Simphiwe Ngema and told her that they won’t be renewing her contract and also that if she still wanted to be part of the soapie she would have to settle for the job of a call actor. This is like being a newcomer. She rejected that,” said the production member.
The actor also revealed that producers made indications that the soapie will in future cut on actors if it were to survive the new instructions by SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng that all main actors should be given three-year contracts.
“Some of our colleagues have approached Hlaudi to get clarity on the matter and the looming job cuts at Muvhango. I won’t lie, we are all fearing for our jobs because if they can fire two long-serving staff members just like that, it also means they can do the same with us because we only have short-term contracts with them,” added the production staffer.