LISTEN: Zahara and partner in music contract drama

Zahara and her Music Lives Here Records partner Sanele Dlamini are embroiled in a contract scandal with an Eastern Cape singer.


Flagstaff-born Rethabile Silindela, 37, affectionately known as Sivuyile, whose song Tribute is performed by Zahara on her latest album Mgodi, claims the multi-award-winning artist took the song without his consent.

In the album, Sivuyile is acknowledged as a featured artist.

Yesterday Zahara reacted to Silindela’s accusations saying: “These are lies and witchcraft.

“He didn’t tell us that he had a contract with someone else.

“I used my own money to buy him clothes and rent him a flat.

“I am going to sue him. He is a witch.

“Our contract is invalid because he already has another contract.

“He must just pay back my money.”

Explaining the background, Silindela said Zahara called him after hearing two of his songs and told him he should move to Johannesburg immediately. “At that time I had a contract with Sandile Tshambo of Kasi For Lifetainment, which I had signed on July13.

“Zahara and I reached an agreement that Sandile would be my manager should they sign me,” he said.

In a recorded phone conversation between the two artists, which the Dispatch has heard, Zahara admits to using Sivuyile’s song on her latest album and says they had no binding contract together.

Silindela said he had already released his own album when he left Kasi.

“They told Sandile to bring the contract and scratch it out so that we can all sign a new contract,” said Silindela.

“Sanele then called me aside to the bedroom and said I should sign a once-in-a-lifetime contract, which Sanele didn’t want me to read through.”

Silindela said that after two months he started feeling conned.

“I told Sanele that I wasn’t happy. He promised me an advance so that I could buy myself new clothes and other things but they never kept that promise.

“They said our contract stipulates that I should get 5% for every one of my gigs or royalties, and for my album which I released before signing with them. They were planning to exploit me.”

He said he only performed once with Zahara in Kimberley. After that she would only let him sit backstage and watch her perform.

“Sanele and Zahara said they would change the dates in the contract which I signed with them so that it would seem as if it was older than the one I signed with Sandile.

“I asked her what if her plans backfired. She said it was all taken care of. Suddenly she wanted to perform alone.

“She didn’t want us to sing together because she knew if I sang with her, she would have to pay me.”

Tshambo said he was involved in the earlier discussions.

“They never kept their promise. That is when I decided to pull out.

“We tried to talk things through but I realised that it was a losing battle.” — DDC