ANC call to boycott Afrikaans festival is short-sighted – DA

2015-02-11 14:25

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The ANC’s call for the Mpumalanga government to boycott the cultural festival Innibos is short-sighted, the DA in the province said.

“To boycott the event will be short-sighted by the ANC,” Democratic Alliance provincial leader Anthony Benadie said today.

“This event is known as a welcoming cash investment in the local economy and has always opened its doors to all racial and cultural groups.”

The ANC’s Mpumalanga secretary, Lucky Ndinisa, said the decision was taken at a lekgotla for all provincial government departments to stop funding the festival.

“Innibos stands opposed to all reconciliatory initiatives the ANC and its government has over the past 21 years sought to build in South Africa,” Ndinisa said.

“It stands opposed to our programme of social cohesion, social inclusion, racial integration and harmony, multicultural inclusivity, national pride and patriotism towards our vision of a united, nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.”

Read: Phosa link in call to boycott Afrikaans culture festival?

Ndinisa said the ANC would lobby the government to not allow Hoërskool Bergvlam to provide a venue for the festival.

The call came even after the organisers booted controversial Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr out of this year’s show.

Last year Hofmeyr sang Die Stem to a 45 000-strong crowd at the festival.

Benadie today said Innibos, a private initiative, had in the past gone to great lengths to diversify the festival and host an inclusive event.

“The ANC have based their assertions on the incident last year, when Steve Hofmeyr sang unannounced Die Stem.

“The organisers of the event could not predict the actions of Hofmeyr, and it is our understanding that he has not been invited to the 2015 event.”

He said Innibos provided an economic injection of about R18 million, which benefited people living around Mbombela.

“A boycott of the festival will only serve to hurt communities that benefit from this initiative.”

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