Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
Macufe 2007 was supposed to be a celebratory event for the Free State.
The festival has, over the years, attracted scores of people from all over the country. This year Macufe took a different turn and things did not go as expected.
Unfortunately, the festival failed to attract the crowds it normally does. It was poorly marketed and badly organised. Most shows were cancelled, many artists did not turn up, and the expected crowds were a total disaster - with the exception of the main festival on October 6.
Some of the most celebrated events of the festival, such as poetry sessions, theatre productions and theatre workshops, never took place. The worst part was that people were not informed in time.
As the Free State Youth Arts Council, we are dissatisfied with the manner in which this festival was organised. In a recent interview, the tourism and environmental affairs MEC Neo Masithela, pictured, said Macufe had lived up to expectations. In our view, what Masithela's comments meant was that it is okay to compromise and oppress artists; it is okay for genres like theatre productions to be undermined and suffer at the expense of sporting codes such as soccer when the focus should actually be on arts and culture.
We believe that Macufe should not be run by the department. As arts and culture activists, we were never afforded an opportunity to make an input on what we want. Instead we were treated like outcasts.
We have a very interesting solution to this problem: take Macufe back to where it rightfully belongs. This initiative was the brainchild of the department of sport, arts and culture and it is only fair to give it back to them.
Ernest Moikangoa, chairman: Free State Provincial Youth Arts Council