UZALO actress Sphelele Mzimela’s health issues are said to have proven “very costly” for her.

Insiders claimed the actress, who plays Mazaza in the SABC1 prime-time telenovela, was fired because she often fell ill while shooting her scenes.

Claimed an informant: “Sometimes, she’d faint, which would disrupt the work of the Uzalo crew.

“Sphelele was replaced because the producers got tired of her sickness.”

Asked for comment, Uzalo head of publicity, Nomfundo Zondi, said Sphelele was unable to continue with her role.

This due to her ailment.

According to insiders, Sphelele had been ill since the beginning of February and later discovered that she was pregnant.

“She’d faint and sometimes feel hot or vomit while shooting her scenes,” an insider said.

“In fact, she’s been in and out of hospital. The producers were out of ideas as to how they’d create a story around her real pregnancy.

“They also accused her of being dishonest about the pregnancy and couldn’t stand that she was always ill, which disrupted shooting.”

Another insider said the producers couldn’t cut the Mazaza character permanently.

“Mazaza has attracted viewers. Her storyline that involves a love triangle and crime saw the character grow,” the mole claimed.

“Therefore, it was hard for the producers to cut the character completely.”

Following the termination of Sphelele’s contract, Uzalo recruited Mpume Ngwenya for the Mazaza role.

Said the head publicist: “Mazaza is an integral part of captivating the Uzalo storyline and remains key in keeping viewers glued to their screens.

Said Mpume (30): “I love how Mazaza is a determined go-getter.

“She came from nowhere, stuck to her goals and ended up finding her place in the story.”

She said she wasn’t shaken by the harsh criticism she’d received on social media for playing Mazaza.

Sphelele was not availble for comment. She also failed to respond to our SMSes and WhatsApp messages.