South African Music Performance Rights Association (Sampra) wants all Mzansi DJs to have licences.

This new rule is still debated on social networks; with some supporting the new direction while others are strongly against the idea – and already the identity of the first victim to suffer the pain of not holding a DJ licence has been revealed.

Mpumalanga-born DJ and music producer, DJ Bob’Ezy – who was caught last week playing without a DJ licence in Sunnyside, Pretoria – is the first DJ to be fined R11 000 by Sampra.

Speaking to Sunday Sun, the angry DJ, whose real name is Fani Mahlangu, said: “I was playing my set at Cubana in Sunnyside, Tswane, when the guys from Sampra slapped me with a R11 000 fine for not having a DJ licence. What makes me mad is that I’m not a criminal – just a DJ!”

But heavy-weights of South African house music are not impressed.

Metro FM and club DJ Christos Katsaitis said those who implemented that never consulted the DJs first.

“We don’t know where the money is going, how it gets there and why we need licences. Who are they collecting it for?”

DJ Fresh said: “It’s been out there for some time but I think it’s the venues that need to have licences.”

Kalawa Jazmee boss DJ Oskido said: I’m still waiting for them to arrest me, because the music industry doesn’t know anything about it.

“I’m taking this to the minister of arts and culture. This is nonsense!”

Durban House DJ Bongz said: “They won’t get a single cent out of my pocket. I’ll just let fines pile up to the ceiling.”

Melissa van Niekerk of Sampra said a person who is not the copyright owner of the sound recording should receive authorisation to do or to cause any of the acts that will otherwise be reserved exclusively for the owner.

“It is referred to as ‘restricted’ acts. Sampra authorises these acts on behalf of the members of Risa, whose rights they administer. Authorisation is granted by a licence from Sampra,” said VAn Niekerk.

Should Mzansi DJs hold a DJ licence? Tell us your thoughts.

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