Judgment reserved in battle for Brenda Fassie movie rights
Publish date: 10 September 2018
Issue Number: 790
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Judgment was reserved last week in the battle for the rights for a movie about South African icon Brenda Fassie, notes a TimesLIVE report. In a day marked by several adjournments, Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi of the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) heard Sello ‘Chicco’ Twala’s lawyer‚ Advocate Mashudu Tshivhase‚ argue that his client was entitled to the rights of the much-anticipated biopic about Fassie’s life because he owned the intellectual property to her music. The case comes after‚ in January this year‚ UK production company Showbizbee announced it was working with the Brenda Fassie estate‚ Legaci Nova Entertainment and Bongani Fassie to produce the film‚ Brenda. South Africans hopeful of a starring role in the film were asked to submit their audition videos for the role of MaBrrr in the biopic‚ which would be written by Bongani‚ who was also said to be the executive producer. Twala‚ Fassie’s former producer, was ‘shocked’ to learn from media reports earlier this year that a biopic was in production‚ that casting calls had been made and that a writer and director were on board. Twala claimed that Bongani came to him for financial assistance with the documentary as early as 2010. An agreement between Fassie‚ Twala and Fassie Records was reportedly signed. That agreement was later amended to include the executor of the Brenda Fassie estate. In December‚ Fassie’s manager‚ Vaughn Eaton‚ terminated that agreement on his client’s behalf – and this year Twala found out a film was being made without his involvement. Twala‚ according to Bongani’s lawyers‚ ‘prematurely’ approached the court to interdict the production and advertisement of the film.