City of Cape Town 'vindicated' after minstrels judgment

2017-12-19 21:16
A minstrel group marching down Darling Street. (James de Villiers, News24)

A minstrel group marching down Darling Street. (James de Villiers, News24)

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Cape Town – The City of Cape Town says it has been vindicated after the Western Cape High Court has ruled in its favour in an application lodged against the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA).

The court case related to an event permit that was not issued to the CTMCA due to non-compliance with the applicable event by-laws and legislation.

Applications are usually made through the City of Cape Town’s event support application system, and the application is reviewed after rigorous legal hurdles and consultations.

The CTMCA represents roughly 60% of the city's minstrels. It has been responsible for organising the Tweede Nuwe Jaar event every year for the past 19 years.

The CTMCA claimed that the City has constantly shifted goalposts on permit requirements. It also accused the City of using apartheid tactics to divide minstrels.

But the City refuted the allegations against it and called on the association to stop politicising the matter.

"As we have stated many times, the event is not about a particular organisation. It is a long-standing tradition in the lives of whole communities that come out in large numbers to support their loved ones who participate. I ask the various associations not to deprive their loved ones and communities of this opportunity that is a highlight of the year," read a statement.

News24 previously reported that Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said that in 2014, the City of Cape Town informed the CTMCA that it would not give it funding as its chairperson, Richard Stemmet, was allegedly involved in drug and criminal activity, and police had seized his assets. They said they would not provide funding while Stemmet was at the helm.

"The decision was made that council was not comfortable giving money to them. They then claimed that Stemmet was no longer the chairperson and would be stepping down," Smith previously said.

Stemmet remained CTMCA chairperson, claiming that the DA-run City had a vendetta against him for his involvement in having minstrels perform at the ANC's 103rd anniversary celebration at Cape Town Stadium in 2015.

Despite the fact that the carnival has been organised by the CTMCA for over 18 years, in 2016 the event was organised by the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association (KKKA) without incident - something which the City hoped would happen this year.
"Today’s judgment is a clear indication, once again, that our administrative processes are fair, just and sound. This was the fourth case in two years and the fifth judgment handed down in favour of the City," read a statement.

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