Dance group in bat­tle over as­sets

Trio claim their leader took their equip­ment

Talk of the Town - - News - TK MTIKI

The sound sys­tem is ours – the DSRAC do­nated a cheque in 2016 for a sound sys­tem

Atal­ented group of dancers from Bathurst have found them­selves em­broiled in a feud with their club pres­i­dent over their sound equip­ment and cos­tumes.

Mem­bers of the Bathurst Sakhu­luntu dance group, which has par­tic­i­pated in a num­ber of dance com­pe­ti­tions, ap­proached Talk of the Town re­cently, claim­ing that their pres­i­dent, Nol­uba­balo Nja­dayi, was con­trol­ling the group’s fi­nances and had claimed their sound sys­tem as her own.

Masixole Tokwe, Ane­sipho Kofi and Nasiphi Bu­tana told TotT they were speak­ing on be­half of the en­tire group. The dance group was formed in 2014, but be­cause they were teenagers at the time, they came up with the idea of form­ing a lead­er­ship who would con­sist of el­ders, for guid­ance pur­poses.

Nja­dayi was elected pres­i­dent of the group in 2015.

The trio stated that their con­sti­tu­tion al­lowed them to change lead­er­ship af­ter one year, but Nja­dayi had been in that po­si­tion for three years.

“When we told the lead­er­ship that we are chang­ing the struc­ture, other mem­bers of lead­er­ship were keen to step down, but Nja­dayi showed no in­ter­est in do­ing so.

“She re­fused to step down, say­ing the group was hers,” Tokwe claimed.

More frus­trat­ing to the group mem­bers was the al­leged con­fis­ca­tion of their prop­erty when they tried to change the lead­er­ship, they claim.

In her ef­forts to pre­vent the change of lead­er­ship, Kofi claimed Nja­dayi had with­held their sound sys­tem and cos­tumes, claim­ing that they be­longed to her.

“The sound sys­tem is ours – the de­part­ment of sport, recre­ation, arts and cul­ture do­nated a R60,000 cheque in 2016 for a sound sys­tem,” Tokwe said.

Kofi and Tokwe went on to claim that Nja­dayi had used their group name to make money for her­self.

“She started an­other group of small kids and is us­ing our name, Sakhu­luntu,” Kofi said.

Ac­cord­ing to the dancers, when Sakhu­luntu was in­vited to dance at an event, Nja­dayi took her mini “Sakhu­luntu” group to rep­re­sent them.

They claimed the con­fis­ca­tion of their sound sys­tem and cos­tumes had been a bit­ter pill to swal­low, es­pe­cially as Nja­dayi was al­legedly mak­ing money with their as­sets with­out their con­sent.

“She is rent­ing our speak­ers to the tav­ern,” Kofi said.

Tokwe lamented that a tav­ern owner, whom he did not name, con­firmed that he had hired a speaker from Nja­dayi.

Af­ter sev­eral at­tempts to change the dance group’s lead­er­ship struc­ture, and to re­claim their equip­ment, the group ap­proached the Port Al­fred Mag­is­trate’s Court last week for ad­vice.

Con­tacted for com­ment, Nja­dayi re­fused to give her side of the story.

“Bhuti, I do not own the group and I don’t know why you are call­ing me,” she said.

Pressed for an an­swer on the al­le­ga­tions about the sound equip­ment and cos­tumes she said: “I was part of lead­er­ship, not own­ing the group.

“I am not go­ing to com­ment any­more.

“Phone Mandi­lakhe [her son] and stop ques­tion­ing me. Why are you look­ing for loop­holes? Stop ac­cus­ing me,” she said.

She handed her phone to an­other per­son who also re­ferred the reporter to “Mandi­lakhe”.

Pic­ture: TK MTIKI

THEY WANT WHAT’S THEIRS: Three mem­bers of Sakhu­luntu dance group, Masixole Tokwe, Ane­sipho Kofi and Nasiphi Bu­tana, at the Port Al­fred Mag­is­trate’s Court, where they were seek­ing ad­vice about how to have their sound sys­tem and cos­tumes re­turned by their es­tranged club pres­i­dent

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