singer strips at jazz

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

The VIP marquee at the Jazz on the Lake festival at Zoo Lake, Johannesburg, was thrown into disarray yesterday when pantsula musician Mercy Pakela of Ayashisa Amateki fame took off her mini-skirt, sending security guards into panic as they struggled to subdue her.

Minister of Arts and Culture Pallo Jordan, who had officially opened the festival earlier as part of the Arts Alive programme, was forced to leave as Pakela strutted her stuff, leaving VIPs in shock.

The 80s singer looked high as she struggled with security guards who dragged her away from the VIP area.

However, an undeterred Pakela returned a few minutes later to fetch her belt and shoes.

She disappeared before journalists could speak to her.

Yesterday was the start of the much-loved Arts Alive festival that features a spectacular mix of dance, visual art, poetry and music at venues in the city.

The annual and popular jazz festival attracted hordes of revellers who came to watch musical talent that included Don Laka, Simphiwe Dana and Sam Mtukudzi, the musician son of Zimbabwean star Oliver Mtukudzi.

Revellers seemed to connect well with Simphiwe Dana who mesmerised them with songs from her latest album, The One Love Movement on Bantu Biko Street.

The crowd appeared bigger than last year's and in the true spirit of spring some people brought along children to enjoy a family day out.

The crowd was well behaved and security was tight until Pakela took off her clothes in front of fans taking photos using cellphones.

Pakela was in the news a few years ago when she was admitted to a rehabilitation centre.