EFF call for firm to be charged for Ma­pun­gubwe mess

EFF calls for crim­i­nal ac­tion against firm

African Times - - Front Page - ISAAC RAMOTHWALA

ECO­NOMIC Free­dom Front (EFF) in Lim­popo has vowed to mount pres­sure on Sports, Arts and Cul­ture MEC On­nica Moloi to lay crim­i­nal charges in re­la­tion to shenani­gans around Ma­pun­gubwe Jazz Fes­ti­val.

The party’s pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Jossey Buthane has in­sisted that Moloi must lay charges against a com­pany con­tracted to ac­quire the ser­vices of an Amer­i­can singer An­thony Hamil­ton to per­form at the jazz fes­ti­val in De­cem­ber 2017.

The depart­ment al­legedly fa­cil­i­tated the pay­ment of R2,5 mil­lion to an agent that promised to bring the singer to Lim­popo. How­ever, the singer failed to land in South Africa.

The money was al­legedly paid by the Na­tional Lottery, one of the “spon­sors” of the jazz fes­ti­val. Hamil­ton was a last-minute re­place­ment for Cana­dian-born singer Tamia who can­celled at the eleventh-hour weeks af­ter Moloi uni­lat­er­ally added her to the line-up.

There were also al­le­ga­tions that some of the goods and ser­vices were di­rectly pro­cured from Moloi’s of­fice – in breach of the Pub­lic Fi­nance Man­age­ment Act.

African Times re­ported ear­lier that the budget for the 2017 fes­ti­val was never made pub­lic while Head of Depart­ment Mor­timer Man­nya was al­legedly kept in the dark about as­pects of pro­cure­ment.

It was also re­ported that some artists ren­dered ser­vices and got paid with­out any con­tracts, and that shoddy ar­range­ments re­sulted in Tamia, Hamil­ton and Nige­rian singers Davido and D’Banj fail­ing to at­tend the fes­ti­val de­spite their names hav­ing been used to woo fans.

Tick­ets were sold at be­tween R200 and R1 500 each.

Jazz leg­end Jonas Gwangwa and Afro-pop group Bongo Maf­fin were roped in as last-minute re­place­ments for in­ter­na­tional artists.

Buthane in a state­ment said: “Why is it that year in and year out the depart­ment makes head­lines for all the wrong rea­sons es­pe­cially with the Ma­pun­gubwe Jazz Fes­ti­val? This fes­ti­val has be­come a ve­hi­cle through which money dis­ap­pears to en­rich politi­cians and some of their friends in the mu­sic in­dus­try.

‘The R2,5 mil­lion paid to this “doggy com­pany”could have im­proved the lives of many up and com­ing lo­cal artists and just ben­e­fit­ting one in­di­vid­ual called an in­ter­na­tional artist. The ob­ses­sion with the so called in­ter­na­tional artists does not come with any no­ble in­ten­tions but it has its think­ing rooted in thiev­ery and loot­ing.

“The MEC must open a crim­i­nal case on this mat­ter against the “con com­pany”and charge all re­spon­si­ble of­fi­cials from the depart­ment and stop sugar-coat­ing this waste­ful spend­ing. Fail­ure to so, the EFF will be left with no op­tion but to de­mand that the MEC be li­able for the R2,5 mil­lion loss.

“We will be go­ing for her as the per­son re­spon­si­ble for the depart­ment to per­son­ally pay back the money. We are mak­ing a call to the gov­ern­ment to stop un­der­min­ing lo­cal artists but in­ste be­come world class artists.”

But the spokesper­son for the MEC of Sports Arts and Cul­ture in Lim­popo, Moloko Moloto, said: “The Lim­popo Depart­ment of Sport, Arts & Cul­ture did not spend a sin­gle cent on An­thony Hamil­ton.

“Al­le­ga­tions that the depart­ment paid R2.5 mil­lion to a “con com­pany” are to­tally un­true. The ser­vices of An­thony Hamil­ton were pro­cured by a pri­vate spon­sor and the trans­ac­tions hap­pened be­tween the spon­sor and An­thony Hamil­ton’s agent. It is also not true that we ig­nore lo­cal artists.

“Over 90 per­cent of artists who per­formed at the Ma­pun­gubwe Arts Fes­ti­val come from Lim­popo.”

Pic­ture: Le­bo­gang Mak­wela / Vis­ual Buzz SA

FU­RI­OUS: EFF pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary Jossey Buthane.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.