Arts producer and Tuks at loggerheads over festival

Arts producer Kgaugelo Dube.
Arts producer Kgaugelo Dube.
Image: Supplied

The University of Pretoria is embroiled in a conflict with arts producer Kgaugelo Dube after her storytelling festival was shelved.

Dube, the organiser of the annual Tjo! Storytelling Festival, claims that she was left in debt after Tuks, which hosts the event, changed the terms of the contract.

The festival gives residents of Pretoria a platform to showcase their work.

The festival was set to take place on September 26 to 28 at University of Pretoria's
Hatfield and Mamelodi campuses.

The festival would have been staged in partnership with Orenda Arts Collective, owned by Dube and the University of Pretoria.

Dube claims that the problem began when the varsity amended the terms of the contract that she had already signed, without consulting her.

She said she was sent a new contract a few days later in which the university was not committing itself to paying and had changed the payment terms.

Sowetan has seen the two documents.

"The first contract that I signed had a budget breakdown with costs and dates of payments. They promised to settle the R86,000 for cost incurred at the end of October.

"I signed it myself and delivered it personally at the University of Pretoria," she said.

"The new contract was telling me that the university was still going to fundraise for the event. I did not understand why they would change a signed contract."

Dube, who had already put together the programme, working with graphic designers, said she was left with a R86,000 debt that the university is refusing to pay.

"What hurts me most is that we have been communicating and we were all on the same page until the contract issue started," said Dube.

She said the institution asked for the festival budget, which was initially R1.6m. Dube had to whittle it down to R800,000 because the varsity was complaining.

"I trusted them because I thought we were partners. But when the money was supposed to come they shifted the goal posts," she said.

Dube, who left a successful career in advertising to be in the arts, featured the likes of authorBongani Madondo, veteran actress Nakedi
Ribane, musician Thabang Tabane and actor Presley Chweneyagae, for the festival.

Sithembinkosi Tlale, the spokesperson for the University of Pretoria, said there was no signed contract between the parties.

Tlale said Dube refused to sign the latest version of the memorandum of agreement that the university presented to her.

"The university indicated that the financial aspects of the agreement need to be discussed and finalised, but she insisted that the university should accept the amounts that she inserted in the previous draft of the memorandum of agreement," said Tlale.

"In order for payment to be effected, we would require a contract and a detailed breakdown of costs leading to the amount claimed.

"We requested Ms Dube to supply us with a breakdown and proof of expenses incurred for consideration, but we have not received anything yet."

Dube has refuted the claims.

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