Traditional music recording artist Max Ofentse aka Kganka has been accused of trying to obtain money through dubious ways by two angry internet café operators.
The ‘Ke thutswe ke koloi’ hit maker is said to have taken P500 and P150 from the two operators respectively accusing them of piracy.
Owner of Muonorama Internet Café in Molepolole Gabonamong Molefi ,31 said on June 9 Kganka and a colleague arrived at his business and asked one of his employees to make a copy of a CD (they brought the original), which he did.
Kganka is said to have immediately made a scene and accused the café employees of piracy and produced a Copy Right Act, where he quoted from one of the clauses that the offence carries a heavy penalty of P20 000 or imprisonment.
“He said since P20 000 was a lot of money we could settle the issue out of court for a lesser price. Initially he wanted P10 000, he later dropped to P1000 and finally P500, which my employee had to fetch from his house,” narrated Molefi.
Molefi told the Voice that after seeking assistance from the police he realized that what the musician did was unlawful.
“I met Kganka together with Molepolole Station Commander Andrew Bosilong who advised him that there is no law that allows him to demand money from people he feels has wronged him.
Bosilong confirmed the meeting to the Voice in a cell phone interview.
“There was no case registered so I brought the two together in order to advise them on what steps to take to resolve the issue. I advised them that both have the right to open a case with the police so that proper investigations could be taken,” said Bosilong.
The Ramco Records artist is said to have apologized to Molefi and promised to give back the P500 on 5th July.
“He keeps sending me apologetic messages but the damage he has caused to my business is immense. Now our customers think our business is involved in some illegal activities,” lamented Molefi.
Another operator in Mochudi who spoke to the Voice on condition of anonymity as her business partner was uncomfortable with the issue said Kganka applied the same tactics where he finally made away with P150.
“I later studied the Act he threatened us with and realized that we committed no crime as he was the one who came with the CD. He gave us permission to do it and we did,” she said.
She said Kganka later apologized and promised to give back the money.
“I told him to keep the money since he seemed to need it more than I do,” she said.
For his part, Kganka accused internet café and photo studio operators of stifling the growth of music in the country.
“Our money is falling into the hands of undeserving people,” he fired.
Kganka said the two operators were liars as they had agreed to settle the issue out of court and are now turning against their agreement to make themselves look good.