The aggrieved owner of Elizabeth Morr, a high-end fashion brand, Lebohang Mojaki is demanding a debt settlement from Johannesburg-based television producer Lulu Hela.
This after Hela of Hela Media allegedly refused to pay for garments that were produced by the designer for Hela’s recent show, 1802: Love Defies Time, a romantic series that celebrates love and isiXhosa culture on 1Magic.
According to Mojaki, her company started working with Hela Media in March 2023 producing special garments for the show, but payment became an issue.
Sunday World understands that Elizabeth Morr was approved by Hela Media as the costume designer for 1802, however, it is alleged that Hela refused to pay the amounts that were due.
“We submitted a quotation, which was more than half a million rands, remember that the story was done in the 1800s so the material for the garments was quite expensive. It was approved and we started working,” said Mojaki.
Things turned sour between the two businesswomen when it was time for payment as Hela allegedly refused to pay, saying the channel had appointed a different supplier.
Mojaki said Hela complained about the prices and asked that they give her a discount.
“We were put under tremendous pressure to reduce the price and we did as we were desperate for payment, so after the discount the money owed to us was R223 788. Despite the discount, she has failed to pay. I regret ever giving her discount,” infuriated Mojaki said.
“She refused to pay, saying she never approved of me and my team producing the garments.”
She described working with Hela Media as horrible and that it has cost her a business that was thriving.
“At some point I felt like I was working for Lulu more than my company,” she said.
“I have worked with so many productions in the country, but I have never encountered something like this.
“Lulu is arrogant and disrespectful. She disregarded the fact that I produced for her and felt like I did not deserve to be paid the money for my work by questioning my invoices.”
One of the talents who cannot be named for fear of victimization said they worked on the show and is aware of Hela’s hostility. “I can attest to this. People are scared to come out because they blacklist or cancel us.”
In a message that we have seen, Hela said she was hoping to meet Elizabeth Morr halfway using insurance money.
“The production has run out of money. I was hoping to meet Elizabeth halfway using the insurance money, but the fact of the matter is that it has not been paid. We don’t know when this claim will be concluded.”
Hela failed to respond to our enquiries. Kamo Aphane, a series producer at Hela Media, who handles Hela’s communications, could not be reached on the phone and did not respond to questions we sent to him.