MultiChoice is investigating allegations that commissioning editors at the Randburg-based pay-TV operator are giving friends preferential treatment and preventing other production companies from getting work by commissioning shows and signing series contracts on M-Net channels, then resigning to share in the lucrative contract-income spoils.
One of these shows is supposedly The Real Housewives of Johannesburg (RHOJ), the Johannesburg edition of the famous international franchise in South Africa, which was produced by the now-defunct RHOSA Productions, founded by Sonia Mbele, Pebbles Gqunta, and Rebone Sesing. At least one disgruntled producer has complained to MultiChoice about commissioning editors allegedly cashing in by first commissioning shows under their friends’ production banners, then leaving to join in the pay-outs.
According to reports, the show was already signed and in production with a specific production company before the newest season of the Real Housewives of Johannesburg went out to tender for production companies to pitch. “MultiChoice takes charges of misconduct in our commissioning extremely seriously,” says Nomsa Philiso, director of local entertainment channels at M-Net. “We are aware of the claims levelled against us, and we are investigating them. However, we remain dedicated to maintaining the integrity of our processes,” Philiso added.
“Save to note that another company was awarded the tender while our client is in the pitching process; our client has no comment,” Sonia Mbele said in a statement through her lawyer Modise Sefume of Giyose Sefume Attorneys.