Actor Bongani Masondo has parted ways with SABC1 soapie Skeem Saam.

Masondo’s character Mangaliso, nicknamed Babymaker, will make his last appearance at the beginning of July – ending a successful three-year run.

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Speaking to Sowetan yesterday, the talented actor who is also a musician said he decided to end his relationship with Skeem Saam after a contractual dispute.

Masondo said, among other things, he could not come to an agreement with the producers on his salary.

“A lot of things have been happening in the past season and I was not really happy. “My character was featured in almost every part of the storyline and I did not complain about that.

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“When we had to talk about renewing contracts at the end of the season in March, I asked my agent to negotiate a higher salary for me because I was all over the show and I worked really hard, they [the producers] refused,” he said. The Katlehong-born, Ekurhuleni, actor said he shot his last scenes at the end of March and has been busy with voice-over work and focusing on his music for the past three months.

“I worked so hard my doctor had to diagnose me with stress because I was overworked and I didn’t get time to rest and I was still expected to be on set after that.”

Masondo said he missed out on two opportunities to work on international movies after PEU Communication Solutions, the production company owned by award-winning producer Winnie Serite, refused to give him time off.

Skeem Saam spokesman Percy Vilakazi confirmed Masondo had left the show.

“He rejected our offer, wanting a lot more money, which was beyond what the production could afford,” Vilakazi said.

He also said Masondo was not allowed to participate in other projects outside of Skeem Saam due to his role on the soapie.

“He was contractually bound to always be available for Skeem Saam.”