Jazz festival under fire

2015-11-11 06:00
THE building which the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) demands to be made available for use by the Maluti Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College. Insert: Lebohang Mokoakoe, EFF regional communications and publicity officer in

THE building which the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) demands to be made available for use by the Maluti Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College. Insert: Lebohang Mokoakoe, EFF regional communications and publicity officer in

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FICKSBURG. – Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Ficksburg are planning to take action to discourage people from attending the 48th edition of the Cherry Jazz Festival, scheduled for Saturday (14/11) at the Ficksburg Show Grounds.

Apparently, this is aimed at showing their frustration towards the organisers of the jazz festival, who they allege refuse to make a building available that they (the EFF) want to be utilised for the Maluti Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College in Ficksburg.

In making sure that their voice is heard, the EFF, together with other parties, plan to march on Thursday (12/11), two days before the event, to hand over a memorandum to the Department of Public Works, the Department of Labour and the Setsoto Local Municipality.

Lebohang Mokoakoe, EFF regional communications and publicity officer in the Thabo Mofutsanyana District, said the march would be conducted peacefully and added that they would depart home after handing over their last memorandum at around 15:00.

He said they simply wanted to discourage people from supporting the jazz festival because it did not give them anything.

He added that they were tired of Seipati Lebusa, organiser of the festival, who did not want to vacate the building that she claimed had been intended to be a tourism centre.

“In 2010, Public Works officially gave that building to the Maluti TVET College, but since then the college has not been working, because of Lebusa,” said Mokoakoe.

“We are saying, enough with people who are making profit out of the community while they don’t want to do something in return. The jazz festival is benefiting her alone.

“We want something which is going to benefit the community, like supporting the college in our town.”

He said they had tried many times to speak to her and asked her to vacate the building, but she never listened.

Mokoakoe said they were also surprised to see the same organisers involved again this year, after it had been made public by the Setsoto Local Municipality that there would be new organisers for this year’s event.

Efforts by Express Eastern Free State to get comment from Lebusa were fruitless, as her phone remained on voicemail.

Even though the EFF claims that public works had given the building to the Maluti TVET College, Makgala Moloi-Labase of marketing and communications at the college sings a different tune.

She confirmed that they had an interest in that building, but that Public Works could not give it to them.

“Yes, we want that building, but we had to wait for Public Works to give it to us, which of course they never did,” Moloi-Labase said.

Express Eastern Free State was sent from pillar to post when trying to contact Public Works.

Washeila Kariem, media manager, was contacted to provide comment, but he directed the paper to Justice Jabari, director of properties, whose phone remained unanswered.

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