Right now, any decision Hlaudi Motsoeneng makes is likely to be greeted with derision.
The beleagured SABC boss is copping a serious amount of flak for renewing the contract of 'Uzalo'.
The locally-produced telenovela pulled in an impressive number of viewers in its first season, and even superceded the ratings of 'Generations'.
However, the SABC initially declined to renew the show for a second season, and when Motsoeneng pulled rank and pumped a whopping amount of money (alleged to be R167 million) into the production, rumours of political interference reared its head.
That’s because Stained Glass Productions, the company behind Uzalo, is co-owned by Gugu Zuma-Ncube, the daughter of president Jacob Zuma.
Today Kobedi “Pepsi” Pokane, the other co-owner of Stained Glass Productions, denied that the contract renewal had anything to do with the Zuma name.
Pokane claims that while he is aware that the new contract has caused “internal strife” within the SABC, everything was done “by the book”. He also corrected the assertion that the new contract was worth R167-million, saying that the figure was instead closer to R158-million. He added that the Zuma name had both positive and negative implications, and didn’t necessarily open doors, as people had suggested.
That’s still about double what it would cost to produce 'Generations', and one industry insider is on record claiming that the amount of money being spent on Uzalo could have been ued to fund 20 shows.
'Uzalo' initially faced the chopping block because, according to a six-person panel reviewing the show, the writing was poor and no concrete business model was in evidence.