Gospel star Pulane Maphari stripped off SAMAs award after misleading the organisation

Pulane Maphari. Picture: Instagram

Pulane Maphari. Picture: Instagram

Published Sep 14, 2022


The Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA), which is the organisation behind the South African Music Awards (SAMAs), has announced the withdrawal of the Best Contemporary Faith Album award presented to Pulane Maphari.

Despite winning the award last month for Sacrificial Worship (Live), Maphari has been stripped off the win after she allegedly repackaged, renamed and paraded a previously released album.

“It has come to the attention of the office that Maphari repackaged, renamed and paraded an album she released in 2020 as a new body of work and submitted it for 2021 consideration with the same track-listing,” read a statement from the organisation’s PR company.

“This is in clear violation of the rules of the SAMAs and equals an automatic disqualification. Under General Rules: Eligibility for Entry clause 5.1 states that an album must contain not less than four (4) tracks of previously unreleased recorded performances (Remixes are excluded).”

Clause 5.2 goes on to add that 50% of the album must feature different and previously unreleased sound recordings by the artist or group entered.

In light of this, the new SAMA28 Best Contemporary Faith Album winner is Kingdmusic for “Denga”.

According to RiSA, Kingdmusic received the second highest score in the category, as confirmed by the auditors, PwC.

Furthermore, RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi has suspended the SAMA project team and instituted internal disciplinary processes for the oversight.

Maphari has also been disqualified, and investigations are said to be underway to determine whether further action will be taken.

“The integrity of the SAMAs is of the utmost importance,” Sibisi said.

“We take seriously any complaint we receive regarding how the winners are chosen and the conduct of our office and the panel of judges. We are looking at a total overhaul of the SAMA structure, systems and processes. The SAMAs must be artist-driven and focused.”

This comes just a few weeks after the controversy around Nhlanhla Nivo Ndimande's involvement as creative director for the SAMAs despite being the manager for Musa Keys, who won the award for Record of the Year.