The creators of popular television soapie The River, Tshedza Pictures, have been dragged to court for allegedly terminating the contract of producer Emmanuel Tlhakanye prematurely.
Tlhakanye is now demanding R319 000 in damages.
In documents filed at the South Gauteng High Court this month, Tlhakanye claimed that the termination followed his “wrongful arrest for robbery”, leading to a few nights at Brixton and Joburg Central police stations in June.
“On or about 25 June 2020 and at this place of residence, the plaintiff was unlawfully arrested by members of the South African Police Services and charged with inter alia robbery and kept in custody at the Brixton Police Station until 28 June 2020,” his papers, which Daily Sun has seen, read in part.
He states that he was later taken to the Joburg Central Police Station and charged with the possession of a suspected stolen cellphone and was subsequently released from police custody on 30 June.
“On 10 July 2020, the defendant (Tshedza Pictures CC) suspended the plaintiff and ordered the plaintiff to attend a formal inquiry meeting to determine the plaintiff’s suitability to continue working on the defendant’s production. On 13 July 2020, the plaintiff attended the hearings and explained why he was absent from work from 26-30 June 2020 and that his absence was due to no fault of his,” read the documents.
Tlhakanye further states in his papers that the parties had agreed to pay him a daily rate of R1 064.52 with the monthly rate including an additional R65 000 for his production equipment with all monies totalling R319 838.71 on a monthly basis.
“On 17 July 2020 the defendant conveyed to the plaintiff that the defendant terminated the contract in question. The termination of the agreement is unlawful as the plaintiff was not absent for a prolonged period and was absent due to no fault of his,” read the papers.
Tlhakanye is also claiming from July to March next year, saying his services amount to R264 000 broken down as R33 000 for eight months with an equipment fee of R52 000.
Tshedza Pictures spokesman Percy Vilakazi said they were dealing with the matter through their legal team and declined to comment in detail.
Tlhakanye said: “This is a personal matter, I don’t want to discuss it with the media.”