Johannesburg - Music pirates in South Africa are cashing in on the recent death of entertainment icon, Oliver Mtukudzi.
The illegal trend is prevalent in the major cities of Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria where pirates are generating lucrative money by selling compact discs (CDs) and Universal Serial Bus (USB) devices to members of the public stunned by the demise of the Zimbabwean-born musician.
Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg also experienced a similar trend.
A survey conducted by CAJ News Africa established that CDs pirated from the deceased Afro-jazz music superstar works are selling at a lowly R10 ($0,15) while USBs cost as much as R150 ($10,71) each.
Pirated material is sold at major taxi ranks, makeshift market stalls and openly in the streets.
The illegal business thrives amid lax law enforcement by authorities.
Music followers argued registered outlets did not have much of Mtukudzi’s music at their shelves.
“I would love to support Mtukudzi’s legacy by buying his music but every retail I visited was out of stock. I was left with no choice than to find the music through other means,” said Mduduzi Zulu at Johannesburg’ Park Station.
Migrant organisations raised concern at the prevalence of piracy and slack enforcement of laws.
“It's unfortunate Oliver Mtukudzi, who dedicated rest of his life in music is also a victim of piracy,” said African Diaspora Forum chairman (ADF), Dr Vusi Sibanda in an interview with CAJ News.
African Solidarity Network (ASN) spokesman, Prince Abenge, said, “It's a pity increased illegal sales of Oliver Mtukudzi music happens in the streets of South Africa barely a week he died.”
Businessman Michael Mawere urged government to intervene.
“Law enforcement agents must arrest culprits found selling pirated CDs and USBs of Mtukudzi music. In general, piracy is a crime that should be condemned by all people in or outside the country,” Mawere said.
Mtukudzi (66) died at Avenues Clinic in Harare after battling diabetes.
He had over 60 albums. Mtukudzi was declared Zimbabwean national hero. – CAJ News