THE Ehlanzeni district municipality has been duped into paying for a live performance by the internationally renowned Soul Brothers during its tourism promotion campaign, which is scheduled to take place in Nkomazi on Saturday.
In an earlier media statement about the event, municipality spokesperson Gwen Ndashe said the group (Soul Brothers), DJ S'bali and various local musicians would be available to entertain the crowds and local cultural groups had also been invited.
Ndashe said the event was scheduled to take place atDriekoppies Stadium.
She said the event was aimed at creating a welcoming, tourist-friendly environment and to motivate the local tourism industry for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
"The event will stimulate entrepreneurship and ensure citizens benefit from tourism opportunities offered by additional visitors. It will also create job opportunities in the communities hosting tourism promotions," Ndashe said.
In a surprise twist of events, which also took Ndashe by surprise, only the Soul Brothers' David Masondo confirmed that the group was coming on Saturday.
Moses Ngwenya (Black Moses), a Soul Brothers co-leader, and Gallo production manager Abraham Mija were shocked to hear that the Soul Brothers were to be part of the event.
"I heard rumours that the Soul Brothers were going to perform in Mpumalanga on Saturday and was shocked," said Ngwenya.
"Nobody told me about anything like that and I'm a senior member of the group. I checked with Abraham as our group is supposed to be hired through him but he was equally shocked.
"I'm not going there."
Mija confirmed that Gallo was the only body through which the Soul Brothers could be hired and that as far as he knew the municipality had not spoken to Gallo.
"I was equally shocked when Moses called to enquire," Mija told Sowetan. "We don't know anything about the group performing in Mpumalanga."
But Masondo had this to say: "We are prepared and we are going to make our supporters very happy."
Coaxed into commenting on Mija and Ngwenya's sentiments Masondo said it was only "the front liner of the group" that was going.
He confirmed that only four members of the group would perform in Mpumalanga and would be actually miming.
But Ndashe told Sowetan that the band had been hired to perform live.