20 Apr 2006  
  Related Artists
Mbuli, Mzwakhe
Phiri, Ray Chikapa
  Back to News

Print Print version
“Crack them now, not later!”

Launch of Operation Dudula - call to march on DVD and CD pirates.

A meeting of concerned musicians and music industry stakeholders has resolved to initiate mass action against music pirates, beginning with a march in five cities on Monday April 24th.

Operation Dudula is being spearheaded by recording artist and poet, Mzwakhe Mbuli, who told the gathering at Bassline in Newtown, downtown Johannesburg, on April 19th that it was time for musicians to stop talking and to start taking action.

"After the 24th, life is going to change. We're going to make sure it's not easy for pirates to operate," he warned. Mbuli will be leading the first Operation Dudula march in Johannesburg on April 24th, which will take place at the same time as mass demonstrations in Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane. Although Mbuli will lead the initiative in Johannesburg he has encouraged all regions to get involved, saying: “this is not about regionalism, this is about justice. People must take action where they can.”

Operation Dudula’s Johannesburg march will be the flagship event for the campaign and it will set off from the Bassline at 11h00 on Monday morning. (April 24th)

With its commitment to tackling music piracy at its grassroots, marchers will head to areas in the city, like Fordsburg, to confront those making and selling counterfeit discs. Alternative arrangements will be made to reach those places - houses and small factories - that are further away from the city centre. Members of the SAPS will be accompanying the marchers and organisers hope that they will be able to arrest perpetrators. Carrying banners and distributing flyers, the marchers will also seek to educate passers-by about the damage piracy does to the music industry and job creation in the country. They’ll also be wearing t-shirts and caps with Operation Dudula written on them, to show a united front for the cause. Members of the public are encouraged to join in the march. The organisers, together with SAPS, have mapped out the best route for the marchers to take; it starts and ends at the Bassline in Newtown. Marchers joining Operation Dudula plan to take offenders to the Johannesburg Police Station, formerly known as John Vorster Square, and may also march on the MEC for Safety and Security Feroz Cachalia's offices, if the MEC has not by then agreed to march with them.

More specifically, Operation Dudula’s organising committee (comprising musicians, organisational representatives and other stakeholders) has identified various distributors of illegal CDs and cassettes through undercover efforts and working closely with the SABC’s Special Assignment television crew. The spy footage filmed by this crew will help to identify and shame the culprits.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mbuli told of the negative mood that has pervaded the music industry as a result of piracy. "These people [pirates] are on a free-for-all. They have the means of production to make these pirated goods." He also touched on the deeper implications behind piracy. "It's like these pirates are saying 'to hell with what Mandela stood for all those years ago, to hell with the struggle effort.' Mbuli spoke of the impact piracy has on democracy, saying it undermines all that has been achieved so far in South Africa's history. He also spoke of the urgency with which this matter must be addressed, citing the 2010 Fifa Cup as a deadline. "2010 Fifa Cup is around the corner. Let us sweep away piracy so that foreign visitors will buy original material and not fake stuff," was the strong message issued by Mbuli who added, "We are prepared to put our heads on the line here. These pirates are bastards, they are thugs, they are criminals."

Mbuli and the organisers have also met with the Department of Education with a view to speaking to learners at schools about piracy. Said Mbuli: "The hand that receives the illegal goods is equally as guilty as the hand that gives it."

Showing their support for this initiative at Wednesday's meeting were a number of key players, including representative of the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), Performing Arts Workers Equity (PAWE), the South African Recording Rights Association Limited (SARRAL), Chissa Entertainment, (AIRCO) Association of Independent Record Companies and Eugene Mtethwa and Chicco Twala, representing the Concerned Musicians group?

Other supporters of the campaign include the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA), South African Promoters Association (SAMPA), The South African Roadies Association (SARA) the Departments of Arts Culture and Recreation, and Transport and the Nu-Metro Group

Operation Dudula is an Anti-Piracy Campaign, initiated by Mzwakhe Mbuli and concerned musicians. "It has been decided that there is an immediate need for corrective action in this regard, as all prior efforts have failed and now is the time for action,” Mbuli has said. Kicking off with the five-city marches on Monday, Operation Dudula is aimed at fighting the multi-million rand illegal counterfeit music industry on the ground through the commitment of those individuals who suffer most at the hands of the pirates – the songwriters and musicians.

PROJECT Spokesperson: - Mzwakhe Mbuli
082 7-704 4325

Contact Persons

Cape Town
Contact Person: Sbu Nkansi
Contact number: 083 470 5037

Contact Person: Ray Phiri
Contact number: 082 3444 999

Kwa-Zulu Natal
Contact Person: Mfiliseni Magubane
Contact number: 083 697 5380

East London
Contact Person: Mazend
Contact number: 083 4705 037


Issued By: On Behalf of:-

JT Communication Solutions Concerned Musicians

vanessa@jtcomms.co.za Spokesperson: Mzwakhe Mbuli

(011) 787 7459 / 781 9596

083 268 1446