Burna Boy‘s scheduled live show in South Africa has been cancelled due to a fraud claim against one of its organisers.
The Nigerian artist had been set to perform at the 90,000-capacity FNB Stadium in Johannesburg last Saturday (September 23), but the gig was shelved in the days leading up to it amid rumours of poor ticket sales (via IQ).
But promoter Ternary Media Group has since claimed that it called off the concert after CEO Sedote Nwachukwu was accused of stealing R10m (£435,000) from the company.
“Due to pending legal proceedings relating to an upcoming Burna Boy concert in Johannesburg, the event has been postponed,” a spokesperson for the firm said, per Times Live.
Ternary Media Group said it has relieved Nwachukwu of his duties “until further notice” amid the allegations made by his business partner Gregory Wings.
Nwachukwu has denied stealing the money, and has made a counter-claim against Wings.
Speaking to Sowetan Live, Nwachukwu claimed: “The event in total sold almost over 20,000 tickets but Greg took 6,000 of the 11,000 tickets sold by Ticketpro.
“I am being told that he went around selling and distributing them at night clubs and campuses. I haven’t seen him since I’ve set foot here in SA over a week ago.”
Wings claimed in a statement to the police that just seven days before the show was due to take place, he met with an official from Ticketpro, and realised that more than R8m had been transferred to Nwachukwu’s US bank account (via Sowetan Live).
He said: “The account verification document was issued to me, and to my surprise, the whole money was transferred to my business partner’s [Nwachukwu] account without my consent.”
According to a spokesperson for Gauteng provincial police, a fraud case has been opened and is under investigation.
Burna Boy’s management team issued a statement to Business Insider Africa regarding the cancelled live date.
“Sadly, it is with great regret that we must inform you that despite my team’s effort, the show on September 23rd in Johannesburg will be cancelled over the inability of the promoters to fulfil their contractual, production, financial, and technical obligations,” it read.
“Production vendors have still not been paid, and as such, it is evident at this point that the agreed production standard needed for this venue size can’t be achieved.”
The message added: “Deepest apologies to all fans; all ticketing companies must ensure it is fully refunded. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.”
Organisers said that the show will be rescheduled for December 16, but FNB Stadium bosses claimed that a contract is yet to be signed.
Over the summer, Burna Boy became the first African artist to headline a UK stadium when he played a sold-out concert at the London Stadium.
NME wrote in a four-star review of the gig: “The appeal of his music is something you will only find in Afrobeats: the music calls something in your spirit that you just can’t fight – instead, you just move.”
Burna Boy then released his seventh studio album, ‘I Told Them…’, last month.