File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

'Sidelined' Cape minstrels association hits out at City over extended contract

By Francesca Villette Time of article published Dec 4, 2019

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Cape Town – As the city council is tomorrow expected to approve a multi-year agreement for minstrel events, the embattled Cape Town Minstrels Carnival Association (CTMCA) has once again cried foul over the process.

The agreement will see an extended contract between the City and minstrel co-ordinators signed for the first time. The move has been welcomed by the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association (KKKA) and the Cape Malay Choir.

Sedick Soeker, a director with the CTMCA, which last hosted the minstrel carnival in 2017, accused the City of sidelining them to make way for “commercial interests”.

Soeker accused mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith of stripping them of their constitutional rights, and intentionally disregarding their input into minstrel events, including the iconic Tweede Nuwe Jaar Minstrel Parade.

He alleged the victimisation started in 2015 when the CTMCA performed at an ANC event.

“Things went all wrong since then. The CTMCA is the only recognised association, we are the custodians of the events, not the City,” Soeker said.

Smith, however, refuted the claims, saying the City’s legal events office prepares multi-year agreements.

The CTMCA was heavily indebted, Smith said, and owed the City costs of at least six different court battles.

The CTMCA has lost several court battles against the City, the most recent in February, when the City obtained an interdict in the Western Cape High Court against it and its member troupes.

The interdict prevents the CTMCA from holding any event and/or function at any venue, whether City-owned or not, without first obtaining written approval.

“According to the municipal council act, we can’t give them money until the agreed money (from court) has been paid. Soeker requested to meet, and we will do so with attorneys present from both sides,” Smith said.

The KKKA has been given R2.4 million in cash funding for the Tweede Nuwe Jaar Minstrel Parade this year and further funding for another two years.

Cape Times

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