Barleader TV CEO Legend Manqele has finally broken his silence about the allegations of theft levelled against him, Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung and Multichoice. Hastings Moeng claims that Dinner At Somizi’s was his concept and not that of Legend Manqele and Somizi Mhlongo.
Read more: Somizi Is Not Sorry And Will Not Apologise
Legend Manqele has released a statement in order to clear himself of any wrongdoing, adding that his silence has not been an admission of guilt however it was to allow the law to take its course.
Parts of the statement as quoted by Sunday World reads as follows:
“The original concept of the cooking show was created during the level 5 and 4 lockdown as a virtual cooking show hosted by Somizi and his husband, Mohale; the show was named “Straight Out Of The Kitchen”. With comedy and music shows going virtual, there was a clear need for this kind of show. The show would see the newlyweds host normal South Africans in their kitchen via Zoom or Skype whilst cooking and chatting. The guests would also be required to cook. Somizi had initially intended to launch a cooking show on his YouTube channel, I approached him and suggested that he consider the TV route instead as his customer base was already sitting with the channel.”
“While Multichoice was initially on-board with the idea of a virtual cooking show they suggested a few changes to the format and they also suggested that we change the name of the show from “Straight Out Of The Kitchen” to Dinner At Somizi’s. After shooting three episodes of the cooking show, Multichoice requested that more changes be made to the format. A collection of emails exist which set out these chain of events. The documentary evidence that we have is quite clear. Simply, the idea for the show did not originate from Mr Hastings nor was there any theft or plagiarism of Mr Hastings’s idea. All allegations in this regard are patently false and are without merit. The fact that what was ultimately presented on television screens is similar to an idea that Mr Hastings had eight years ago is nothing more than a coincidence.”
He then admitted that Hastings approached him to pitch his idea eight years ago whilst he was at the gym,
“It is correct that Mr Hastings approached me at the gym approximately eight years ago, in the early stages of my business and told me about an idea that he had for a cooking show. I gave him my email address and asked that he email me. I do not recall ever receiving the email that Mr Hastings sent to me 8 years ago. In fact, the evidence clearly shows that I never even opened the email from Mr Hastings. The email was delivered to my mailbox and formed part of the hundreds of unopened emails in my mailbox. I also point out that, at the time, it was not out of the ordinary for me to engage with Mr Hastings at the gym and to give him my email address as I was still relatively young in the industry and was still quite shy about drawing boundaries where the distribution of my personal information was concerned.”
He then goes on to say that Multichoice attempted to solve the matter with Hastings in private, however, nothing fruitful came out form the meeting.
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