The renowned Best Newcomer Actress in a Film award at the ninth annual Simon Mabhunu Sabela Awards drew criticism. The ceremony took place in July.
The KwaZulu Natal Film Commission said in a statement that complaints were made after the award went to newcomer Thulisile Dlamini from the movie “Help.”
It turned out that Dlamini’s name wasn’t on the real list of nominees, but she still won the award.
After reviewing the complaints for months, the commission said that Dlamini is still the winner of the category and that her name was left off because of a “human error.”
“After reviewing the judging reports provided by the Overall Judges and confirmed by the external independent Auditor, it was noted that the nominee, Thulisile Dlamini, was indeed the correct winner that was scored in all three stages with comments from the judges declaring her the outright winner of the category,” read the statement.
It also said that the name was left off when the information from the auditors’ sheet was sent to different communication platforms.
“We would like to reiterate that both the signed report from the Overall Judges and from the External Auditor are aligned and both declare the winner of the category as Thulisile Dlamini.”
The acting CEO of the KZN Film Commission, Victor Senna, apologized for the “human error” and reassured the film industry that the awards process would still be fair.
“The human error experienced was isolated to be due to separate input outside the judging and auditing process. The error is regrettable, however, what this shows is that the winners’ list is signed, double-checked and sealed by an auditor which is why even when there was an error, the award still went to the correct winner.
“Corrective measures are being put in place to ensure the error is never repeated,” said Senna.
“Let me take this opportunity and congratulate all of the nominees and winners of the Simon Mabhunu Sabela KZN Film and Television Awards 2021,” he said.