4 January 2013

Namibia: Mad Max Caterer Disappeared Without Paying

Mango catering, a South African based caterer contracted for the filming of the Mad Max sequel movie, ran up a N$200 000 debt with coastal businesses and skipped back home without paying.

Pieter Myburgh, manager at the Swakop branch of Fruit & Veg who are one of the companies that offered products to Mango catering, said they had an agreement to supply food to the film crew. Walvis Bay-based Herco Marketing is also one of the companies aggrieved by the lack of payment by the catering company.

According to Myburgh, normally, the catering company bought produce for a week and then paid their dues on Monday for the previous week credit.

"We found out the movie will finish at the December 15 and they fail[ed] to pay us the previous week. When confronted they said they just waiting for the movie people to pay them. That was the last and they run out of the country," Myburgh said.

Myburgh said sometimes, they had to import the best products because they did not have the stock like "almond milk since it is too expensive".

Asked about the efforts he did to get the money, Myburgh said "They told me I must not worry the first time. The second time they told me sorry they have no contract with me".

The Fruit & Veg manager said they will do all they can to recover the money in South Africa.

Patrick Gillingham, the owner of Mango Catering admitted yesterday to The Namibian that they owe businesses in Namibia. He suggested they too have not been paid and are suing Kennedy Miller Mitchell production - the production company of Mad Max films - for breach of contract.

"Yes, it's true. There is nothing to hide on what we owe. We don't deny we owe the money. We are hoping for a settlement," he said.

"We are suing them [Kennedy Miller Mitchell production] for damages because they breached the contact. They ended it without any good reason," Gillingham said.

"We had a contract for 10 weeks, But they told us after five weeks that 'we don't need you anymore, thank you bye' ".

Gillingham who is also the owner of Mango Restaurant in South Africa rubbished claims that they ran away from paying saying that they catered for about six or seven movies in Namibia in the past.

Asked why they did not inform the coastal companies they owe that they are going out of the country, Gillingham said "We had to go. What was the use of staying while we were not needed there?"

The filming of Mad Max: Fury Road' which started in July last year to December was not done without controversy.

The Namibian Coast Conservation and Management project accused the producers of the film of causing significant environmental damage to the dunes.

Namibia Press Agency last year reported that the production of the fourth Mad Max movie was behind schedule. Efforts to get comment from the mad Max film crew were unsuccessful.

Mad Max: Fury Road', starring South African actress Charlize Theron and British actor Tom Hardy, is scheduled for release this year.

The film will be presented by world renowned Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Village Roadshow Pictures.

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