De Lille: No politics in Minstrels march

2013-12-30 20:07
Patricia de Lille. (File, Die Burger)

Patricia de Lille. (File, Die Burger)

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Cape Town - The Cape Minstrels' annual carnival must not be turned into a political event, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said on Monday.

She warned the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association and the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association that the march on Saturday should not contain any reference to a political party.

This followed media reports that some minstrels would wear armbands depicting the late former president Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress logo.

"The city has no problem with troupes marching in whatever colour they choose or wearing Nelson Mandela armbands in memory of our former statesman, who was also a proud patron of the Cape Minstrels, but to have the ANC logo on the band is not an option that the city or I would support as it would result in making politics out of a cultural tradition."

Following a meeting with the associations on Monday, it was agreed that the ANC logos would be removed and that troupes would instead wear plain black armbands with an image of Mandela.

De Lille had also heard that provincial ANC chairperson Marius Fransman would be named patron of the event.

She was seeking clarification on whether Fransman's role was in his capacity as the provincial party leader or as international relations and co-operation deputy minister.

Two weeks ago, the city and the associations signed an agreement to ensure the carnival was a success.

It was agreed that the associations would participate in the management of upcoming carnival events and would be the overarching event organisers in 2014/15.

De Lille said the city provided R3.5m worth of logistical and support services such as traffic control, safety and security, law enforcement and cleansing to ensure the carnival was controlled.

"In addition to this, the Western Cape government provides approximately R2m for transportation costs of all minstrels groups, Malay choirs and Christmas bands," she said.

Read more on:    cape town  |  politics

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