Ntshaba was playing out an appointed role

Your article, "Going political", in Sowetan on January 24 refers. I wish to respond as follows: Winnie Ntshaba was hired to perform a role at the launch of our values and policy process.

Your article, "Going political", in Sowetan on January 24 refers. I wish to respond as follows: Winnie Ntshaba was hired to perform a role at the launch of our values and policy process.

At the beginning of her performance, in which she presented the IFP's history, she told the audience she was an actress. At no time was there any indication, or did we expect of her an indication, of a political role.

It is indeed a shame that at an event where our senior leadership gave presentations on serious policy issues which affect all South Africans, your journalist could only focus on Ntshaba's performance and give scant coverage of the real issues of the event.

This type of tabloid-style journalism has no real value and can only lead to a situation where professional performers will have to think twice before accepting an acting job with any political organisation. We, and our political opponents, have on various occasions used actors and musicians in their professional capacity at events, but never, unless those involved have indicated so themselves, has a political label been hung around their necks.

Reverend Musa Zondi, IFP general secretary

lSowetan accepts that Ntshaba spoke as a paid actress and the views she expressed were not her own but those of the IFP. This, however, was not made clear at the function. We apologise to Ntshaba.

But we reject Zondi's accusation that we downplayed the importance of the occasion. A separate report on the IFP's draft-policy programme was published on page 7 of our KZN and Gauteng editions.

The Editor

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