Cape Town - Minstrels will not be wearing ANC armbands during the Tweede Nuwejaar celebrations this Saturday.
This was the decision made during a meeting between the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association, Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association and the City of Cape Town on Monday afternoon.
Instead, the yellow ANC rubber band that was going to be worn by marchers – a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela – will be replaced by an unbranded black one.
But just as the political conflict seemed to have settled down, ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman criticised the city for threatening the January 4 celebrations.
This was in response to mayor Patricia de Lille who said the city would not fund the annual cultural parade if it was going be turned into a political event.
According to the mayor, the city provides R3.5 million worth of services such as traffic control, security, law enforcement and cleaning for the carnival.
A further R2m is provided by the Western Cape government to cover transport costs for the minstrel groups, Malay choirs and Christmas bands.
But Fransman said the city should not threaten the cultural event: “The minstrels will march with or without the city. I dare you to pull the plug and see what happens.”
The ANC leader has been implicated in the political conflict after he was approached by the minstrel associations to become the event’s new patron, taking over from the late Nelson Mandela.
De Lille has questioned whether Fransman had been approached in his capacity as leader of the ANC in the Western Cape or in his capacity as Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation.
However, Fransman said it was neither.
“They have approached me as someone who has walked this path with them, somebody who will look after their cultural heritage,” he said.
The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association’s chairman Richard Stemmet said Fransman was a friend to the associations.