Veteran actor Mangaliso Ngema has been fired from his role on SABC2’s popular drama series Lithapo with immediate effect.
This follows social media uproar and revelations of an allegation of sexual harassment levelled that against him this week.
A fellow actress, Lorraine Moropa, accused the senior male colleague of sexual harassment.
In a statement, Moropa shared on social media, she said it was painful that someone who was supposed to protect and guide her in the entertainment industry violated her human rights.
Moropa accused the colleague of undressing her by the way he looks at her and of grabbing his genitals on a set while looking at her “a**s”.
Although no official case has been opened against the veteran actor, Ngema was been booted out of the production and is contesting the decision.
Ngema played the role of Senzo Hlongwane.
In an initial statement released by Lithapo production company Quizzical Pictures it said it had “resolved the issue on the Lithapo set. The actress concerned is comfortable with the outcome. We would like to thank the cast and crew for their patience. Quizzical Pictures remains committed to creating a fair and respectful workplace for all our cast and crew,” said the production.
In response to the Sunday World, Harriet Gavshon from the production company explained that the decision to remove Ngema was with immediate effect.
“He is no longer part of the production and the story is being rewritten.
Quizzical Pictures deeply regrets the hurt that this has caused and would like to thank the actress for her bravery and speaking out against it.
“We take sexual harassment very seriously and will not tolerate any form of misconduct in our productions. We reiterate that this goes against our values, we subscribe to the Sister Working in Film and Television (Swift) and Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) code of conduct. All cast and crew sign declarations against sexual harassment as part of their contracts and Quizzical Pictures run sexual harassment workshops before any production begins,” said Gavshon.
“We stand in solidarity with all women in our society who have experienced this act.
We equally condemn any act of harassment against all women in our society. We would like to thank the cast and crew for their patience while this matter was being dealt with,” Gavshon added.
In a Facebook post, Ngema publicly apologised and admitted to the incident which took place on set.
Ngema’s account states: “I am not going to deny any allegations levelled against my name. I will take full responsibility for the sexual harassment case. I apologize to Miss Lorraine Moropa and others for the abuse I directed towards them.”
This post has since been deleted.