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Furore over councillor's demands on Afrikaans festival

By unknown | Jun 26, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

A Mpumalanga councillor has angered organisers of an Afrikaans festival by demanding that they include black artists in the event and donate a percentage of the proceeds to a black charity organisation.

Vusi Sambo, a councillor in Nelspruit's Mbombela local municipality, reportedly threatened to cut the water supply to the Innibos festival's venue on the day of the event, if the organisers did not give in to his demands.

Sambo allegedly demanded that five percent of the festival's proceeds should be donated to a black welfare organisation.

Louis Marneweck, an organiser of the festival and chairman of the Christian Party, said they would not bow down to Sambo's demands.

"Sambo allegedly threatened to stop providing the festival with service delivery such as free water, rubbish collection and electricity in future," said Marneweck.

He said the festival had a progressive track record because it had nothing to do with politics.

Marneweck said Sambo's letter was sent to the festival organisers as an official letter from the culture and sport committee of the local municipality.

"The letter also said the municipality would rethink its financial and services contributions to the Innibos if it did not include black artists."

Mbombela executive mayor Justice Nsibande said yesterday that if the allegations against Sambo were true, "Sambo was abusing his power".

Nsibande said he was not aware of the letter and he doubted if it went through the proper council channels before it was sent to the organisers of the festival.

Former Mpumalanga premier Matthews Phosa, who is the chairman of Innibos, accused Sambo of looking at the matter from a very narrow political view.

Innibos is said to be the largest Afrikaans music festival in South Africa.


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