Sibongile Khumalo’s Orbit show cut short by student protests

By Qhama Dayile
18 October 2016

"We had a full house for Sibongile Khumalo’s performance"

On Friday, 14 October, jazz singer Sibongile Khumalo’s show at jazz club The Orbit in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, was cut short when the club’s front window was smashed.

A patron who had been attending the event said students were protesting on the streets of Braamfontein when they heard the front window break.

”We are not sure if it was criminals seeing the protest as a great time to take advantage. Some students ran into the club to seek refuge when police arrived at the scene,” the patron said.

Outside the club, an SABC outside broadcast van that was recording Sibongile’s show was torched and burnt to the ground.

The club owners said Sibongile’s band and the guests were safely evacuated and were unharmed.

A press release from The Orbit team said, “Last night The Orbit was attacked by a small group of people who smashed the club’s front doors and torched an SABC outside broadcast car. We had a full house for Sibongile Khumalo’s performance but thankfully the musicians and all our guests were safely evacuated and damage limited to the front of our venue.

It is with regret that we have taken the decision to cancel the performances of When Ballet Meets Jazz tonight and tomorrow. The Orbit team would like to say thank you for the messages of support and to reassure our community that we are working hard to be ready for next week. Please check our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest updates.

We opened our doors with a social mission in mind: a belief in the city of Johannesburg and the positive contribution that jazz makes to lives of people and to the arts. Nothing has changed, Braamfontein remains the home of the Home of Jazz.”

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