Frustration as inadequate security delays breakaway minstrel group event

2017-01-02 17:00
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 - Security requirements were not met and this is what resulted in the Athlone Stadium being kept locked for four hours on Monday, the City of Cape Town has said.

Hundreds of minstrels and spectators were left waiting outside of the stadium for the event, which was meant to have started in the morning.

READ: Breakaway minstrel group locked out of Athlone Stadium

The breakaway Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA) scheduled their own minstrel competition for 11:00 on Monday at the stadium after withdrawing on Friday from the bigger annual Tweede Nuwe Jaar parade in Cape Town.

Their event was meant to start at 11:00, but instead frustrated spectators were only allowed into the stadium four hours later.

Speaking to News 24, mayoral committee member for events Eddie Andrews said that police had closed the Athlone Stadium gates after events protocol was not met.

"Police kept gates closed after several requirements were still outstanding. There were issues with the number of security [personnel]," Andrews said.

READ: Capetonians camp out in CBD in anticipation of annual minstrel parade

Responsibility

Both CTMCA chairperson Richard Stemmet and chief executive officer Kevin Momberg were apparently not present at the stadium at the time.

News24 was not able to reach them for comment, and calls to their phones were not answered.

Outside the stadium, several spectators expressed their frustration at event organisers.

"Every year, I come to the troupes, and this year I am very disappointed. I pay R40 to attend this event just to stand outside since this morning," Vasiega Hanafey said.

Troupe member Vouruk Manual said event organisers should take responsibility.

"I am very upset. I dropped my wife off already at 12, and I'm still waiting. The event organisers are to blame," he said.

Meanwhile, in the Cape Town city centre, the annual minstrel parade started at 13:00, with several CTMCA troupes in attendance, despite the decision of their mother body not to participate.

According to Andrews, who was attending the event himself, there had been no troupe-related incidents in the city centre.
"Everything is going to plan and no one has been injured or harmed, as far as we know," Andrews said.

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