Red flags have been raised in the film industry following the death of local actor Odwa Shweni last week.
Shweni, 39, was filming a fighting scene in the Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal, on Thursday, when he apparently lost his footing and fell 40m at he Sterkspruit Waterfall, near Monks Cowl. His body was recovered at the foot of the waterfall on Friday morning.
Speaking to Bongini Bingwa on the 702 Breakfast Show, Chairperson of the SA Guild of Actors Jack Devnarain said the members of the cast were unhappy about how the production was being managed. Adding that many actors looking to make a name for themselves, rarely ask too many questions to keep producers happy.
Devnarain said the situation is similar to the current sexual harassment saga playing out in Hollywood.
"It is very much a balance of powers, and if you are a young performer coming into the industry, you really want to find your place and not ask too many questions," he said.
"You want to please your producer, you want to get your shots done because you want your name up in the industry... In many instances, you have performers who are willing to take that extra step, get a little closer, for a fantastic shot, and walk away and say 'I've done my best work and pleased the producer'".
Devnarain added that Shweni was "brave enough" to go there and "unfortunately paid the ultimate price".
When asked about regulations protecting actors, Devnarain said the questions must be asked.
"This must be investigated. It has to be the subject of a comprehensive enquiry: did producers take the time, put in the effort to follow basic industry guidelines... and what steps did they take to mitigate them to protect the crew?"
Shweni's memorial service was held in Randburg, Johannesburg, on Wednesday.
Taking to social media, Shweni's cousin and fellow actor, Andrea Dondolo wrote "#RIPOdwaShweni we will say your name till the walls shake "Boom" Kings don't slip away silently for they are larger than life itself. Madiba, Zondwa ziintshaba zingazumenzanto! The generosity of your spirit overwhelmed this realm, the Divine creator yeaned (yearned) for your counsel, wisdom and discening (discerning) presence and latitude (sic)