Government demands cash back

2009-11-05 12:01

Johannesburg - The arts and culture department is demanding the return of funds paid to host the Miriam Makeba tribute, director general Themba Wakashe said on Wednesday.

Wakashe said the department had allocated R4m to sponsor local and international artists and R3m of this had already been paid to Morris Roda Productions.

"One of the issues is to recover the R3m that has not been given back," he said.

Wakashe said the company had been informed of the cancellation of the contract and he had been in contact with the Makeba family.

"We have approached the family, we have been in conversation since last week and yesterday I meet with the family."


When asked how the family felt about the withdrawal of support for the tribute, which was scheduled from Saturday to Monday, he said: "It's not a question of whether we are disagreeing or not. We would all have loved to see this going through."

The department pledged to support the event after the Makeba family had already contracted Morris Roda Productions.

"We had hoped to still honour Mama Afrika on the anniversary of her death on November 9 through the event initiated by her family.

"The department will continue with its legacy projects in honouring icons of our country and hope to highlight the contributions of Miriam Makeba in the near future," said Wakashe.

One of the artists involved in the planning told media in Johannesburg that the free public concert would go ahead. He refused to name the sponsors, saying they would be announced at an "appropriate time".

"This thing is far beyond Morris. Artists have taken a whole year to rehearse and we will not budge. We are going ahead as planned on Saturday," said musician Mzwakhe Mbuli, a member of Vhutsila Arts, an events company working with Morris Roda Productions.

Mbuli said they did not need permission from family members to celebrate their icons, while Morris Roda refused to comment, saying it was sub judice.

"It [the court battle] is going to take a long time," said Roda.

The event, which was supposed to have been held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, has now been moved to Church Square.

However, only local artists will be performing after "problems and hiccups" led to the cancellation of international artists including include Manu Dibango, Angelique Kidjo and Salif Keita.

Makeba passed away on November 10 2008, aged 76.

  • Say what... - 2009-11-05 12:31

    Give back the money so they can buy Beemers.

  • Andrias - 2009-11-05 12:52

    well we know that vavi must get 100% increase. they'll be short. just give them!

  • Max - 2009-11-05 13:13

    R4 000 000 for a show where people sing. What a joke!

  • LikeItIs - 2009-11-05 13:29

    What's the wish of the family, Goverment? The family agreed with the company at first & why now the chief went alone knowing very well there's another party involved. Colluding with service providers will not stop becasue it's the practice of our state, so it's legal

  • Donovan - 2009-11-05 13:48

    Just how did this happen, how is it that money is paid over when the correct documentation is not even in place, JZ you say corruption will not be allowed so why not start criminal action agains all persons in goverment who were involved with this whole deal clearly there did not do there job correctly and therefore should not be employeed

  • farouk - 2009-11-05 13:57

    Shame on you Mbuli

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