JOHANNESBURG — Veteran South African singer Miriam Makeba, who worked with Harry Belafonte in the early 1960s creating classics such as “The Click Song” and “Pata Pata,” is taking legal action against the South African Broadcasting Corp. alleging copyright abuse.
Her manager Dumisani Motha said the last straw came when SABC1 aired her show, “Miriam at Bern Salonger,” on Monday without permission.
“Mama Makeba owns all the African rights to her work but the SABC continues to broadcast her work without obtaining permission from her,” Motha said. “The fact that the material is sitting in their archives does not mean they have the license to use it.”
Makeba, who turned 75 this year, achieved international recognition with her role in anti-apartheid documentary “Come Back, Africa,” which preemed at the Venice Film Festival in 1959.
In 1963, the South African government revoked her citizenship after she testified before the United Nations about apartheid, and she lived and performed in exile until 1990.