Limpopo premier says no tribal undertones in Thomas Chauke saga
PRETORIA - Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha on Wednesday said he had "interacted" with under-fire arts and culture MEC Thandi Moraka and was satisfied that an incident that tainted the Mapungubwe Arts Festival had no racial undertones.
Moraka has been widely criticised, particularly on social media, and accused of tribalism after the award-winning Xitsonga traditional musician, Thomas Chauke, and his Shinyori Sisters outfit were allegedly forced off stage at the festival.
"The premier has interacted with the MEC [Moraka] and is satisfied that no tribal undertones were ever uttered. This was just an exaggeration on social and other media," said acting provincial spokesperson Mamogo Ntuli.
She however added that Mathabatha was still "in the process of ascertaining facts from the legendary musician" Chauke.
"Although facts around what actually transpired during the alleged removal from stage are still sketchy, the premier feels that treatment of any artist or anyone for that matter should never be based on tribal undertones," said Ntuli.
Chauke has reportedly expressed deep disappointment at the way he was treated during the annual festival in Polokwane, Limpopo.
During his performance, Chauke was stopped - allegedly by the stage managers - who told him that they were acting on instructions.
Some of the revellers at the music extravaganza claimed Moraka removed Chauke from stage and claimed that she told him that she did not understand his music. According to media reports, Moraka allegedly said Tsonga music was "loud".
Activist Hendrick Makaneta on Wednesday called on Mathabatha to suspend Moraka "for failing to honour her oath of office".
Makaneta said Moraka had "disrespected" the legendary musician.
“The Limpopo provincial government should immediately suspend MEC Thandi Moraka pending the outcome of an investigation into the alleged act of tribalism,” Makaneta said. "On the same note, we call on government to further issue a warning against people who engage in inflammatory attacks against Tsonga people."