Photo: Somizi / Twitter

Dinner at Somizi: Summons served for alleged intellectual property theft

Metro FM presenter Somizi Mhlongo and MultiChoice can’t shake claims that the ‘Dinner with Somizi’ show was stolen, and have now been served.


Photo: Somizi / Twitter

Metro FM presenter Somizi Mhlongo, as well as broadcaster MultiChoice, have been issued summons by the man who claims to have had his intellectual property robbed from him when Mhlongo launched the popular Dinner at Somizi‘s show. 

Hastings Moeng claims to have conceived the show’s concept back in 2014 when he reached out to Mhlongo via email and outlined a near identical pitch to the structure it currently employs, and he has now sought “reasonable compensation’ with 15% interest on the amount decided.  

Mhlongo accused of intellectual property theft  

Moeng has asked that the court declare his alleged verbal contract with the Idols SA presenter as valid and binding, and has additionally demanded that the concept underpinning Dinner at Somizi’s be declared his intellectual property. 

Moeng’s email to producer Legend Manqele pitched a novel show concept called Dinner Kwa Somizi, that could entail “24-minute long episode captures” featuring “the drama that goes into preparing each meal as Somizi and his guest sweat it up in the kitchen before the actual sit down.”

“These 13 episodes will have a star-studded guest list of some of the most topical names in entertainment telling their stories in a never-seen-before- light,” it read. 

He listed AKA, Denise Zimba, Dineo Ranaka, Itumeleng Khune, Jamie Bartlett and Lilian Dube as possible guests.

A powerpoint presentation was also sent to MultiChoice in 2014 in which a synopsis, format arch and proposed guests and sponsors were suggested. 

MultiChoice given 10 days to respond to summons

MultiChoice acknowledged the complaint levelled by Moeng earlier this year, with the company spokesperson Benedict Maaga saying they tried reaching out to producer Moeng.

In spite of the mounting controversy surrounding the show, MultiChoice decided to continue airing it in 2020 and beyond. 

“We reached out to Mr Moeng,” they said in August. “We are also engaging the show’s producer. However, this claim will not impact on the airing of the remaining episodes of the show.” 

MultiChoice have been given 10 days to respond to