Minstrels lose battle to hold 'Voorsmaakie' parade

2016-12-16 18:47
Minstrels apply the last touches of face paint (Jenni Evans, News24)

Minstrels apply the last touches of face paint (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town – The Western Cape High Court on Friday dismissed an urgent application by the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA) to allow it to continue with its “Voorsmaakie” parade at the weekend.

The court dismissed the application with costs, raising the issue of timing, confirmed mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, Eddie Andrews.

“The ruling vindicates the city in that we followed due process. We welcome the ruling,” he said.

The CTMCA approached the court after the permit for its parade was declined and it failed to secure funding for festive season minstrel events.

The R4m allocation has instead been handed to the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Assosiasie, despite the CTMCA running the event for the past 19 years.

The permit for the Voorsmaakie, which is a practice run for the Tweede Nuwe Jaar celebrations, was declined on Wednesday due to non-compliance.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said the City of Cape Town informed the CTMCA last year that it would not give it funding as its chairperson, Richard Stemmet, was allegedly involved in drug and criminal activity. Police seized his assets.

“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 said.

CTMCA CEO Kevin Momberg, said the funding was in the past paid to the Cape Cultural and Carnival Committee, the umbrella body under which the CTMCA falls.

“We complied with what they wanted and he resigned,” Momberg said.

Stemmet was however still CTMCA chairperson.

Poorest of the poor

On Wednesday, Stemmet claimed the DA-run city had a vendetta against him due to his involvement in having minstrels perform at the ANC's 103rd anniversary celebration at the Cape Town Stadium last year.

He said he was informed on November 30 that the funding would not be given to the non-profit organisation after months of planning.

“We are a NPO and our members are the poorest of the poor in the metro, from areas like Hanover Park, Manenberg, Mitchells Plain and Lavender Hill. This is the biggest minstrel organisation,” Stemmet insisted.

Andrews, said that in addition to the organised crime allegations, the CTMCA was also in arrears with the city.

“We can’t do business with someone who owes us money,” he said.

The CTMCA also wanted to host the Tweede Nuwe Jaar event on January 3 next year, a normal working day, Andrews said.

“Our estimation was that this would have led to a R30m loss to the [local] economy.”

According to the city, its events permit office has in the past eight months worked with the event organiser to ensure that all requirements outlined in the events by-law policy are met.

Police withdraw grading certificate

The policy was developed and guided by applicable legislation and regulations, including the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act.

The city explained it was the responsibility of the event organiser to apply for an event risk categorisation from the police, in accordance with the act.

Police however informed the city that the Voorsmakie event’s grading certificate would be withdrawn as it did not comply with the act’s requirements.

“The event organiser has, to date, failed to produce the required plans for safety and security, traffic management, road closures (including signage and equipment), solid waste management, fencing and toilets,” Andrews said.

“Additionally, payment is still outstanding for city services provided at last year’s event and the required deposits to secure necessary services for this weekend’s event have not been made to date. This compromises the physical well-being and safety of both participants and spectators at the event.”

He explained that the city’s primary concern was for the large number of people who attended the annual minstrel events. 

Read more on:    city of cape town

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