Breakaway minstrels blame sabotage for 5 hour delay

2017-01-03 22:57
The minstrel event at Athlone stadium has been delayed. (James De Villiers, News24)

The minstrel event at Athlone stadium has been delayed. (James De Villiers, News24)

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Cape Town - Sabotage was to blame for the delayed start of the minstrels’ event at Athlone stadium, Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA) CEO Kevin Momberg said on Tuesday.  

The event was scheduled to start at 11:00 on Monday, but the gates were only opened at 15:00 due to lack of security.

“There is a third force at play. I was at the stadium at 07:00 and all the security was in place,” Momberg told News24.

“Apparently someone came to the stadium and told security that they will be paid R500 to R600 if they go to the parade in Cape Town. That’s much more than we can pay them.

“We are busy with investigations to see who tried to bribe our security.”

Momberg apologised to spectators for the delayed start and said the minstrels were becoming synonymous with starting late.

Disqualification

According to Momberg between 5 000 and 6 000 people were in the stadium when the event eventually got underway at 16:00.

CTMCA chairperson Richard Stemmet told News24 that the five to six troupes that defied their decision not to attend the minstrel parade in Cape Town would be disqualified.

“They are all automatically disqualified. We made a collective decision, not as the executive, but as all troupes and they disobeyed the decision,” Stemmet said.

The CTMCA withdrew from the Tweede Nuwejaar parade on Friday, claiming the City of Cape Town was biased in providing funding.

The city decided in December not to award event approval to the CTMCA. Instead it decided to give the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association (KKKA) the right to host the parade.

Stemmet reiterated previous statements by Momberg that they would take the city to court.

“We are not going to stop fighting. We will take the city to the Equality Court. We will take the city to the Constitutional Court,” Stemmet said.

KKKA event organiser Muneeb Gamebeno said the CTMCA was being hypocritical.

He acknowledged that there might have been fewer spectators at Tweede Nuwejaar this year, but believed it was a huge success. It only started 40 minutes late, compared to a delay of several hours the previous year.

“There were probably a bit fewer people, but the city was still full. There was a festive feeling all around,” Gamebeno said.

The City of Cape Town said there were no serious crimes reported at either minstrel events.

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