DISGRUNTLED artists are taking the MEC for sport and culture in Gauteng-Mbali Hlope to the task.
They demand her removal because she’s incompetent and rules in ‘iron-fist’ at her department.
These are the words of Brian Ntombela, an artist who said they demand the removal of MEC since she does not take “care of the needs of our artists. She has dismally failed to execute her mandate”.
Ntombela and other artists will march to the office of MEC on Monday morning (23 August) and also present their grievances to her ‘boss’ Premier David Makhura, to be fired, amongst others.
According to Ntombela, they demand to know:
- What happened to the Grant –Aids fund?
- What happened to projects to help artists- why there hasn’t been any implementations?
- And what happened to millions of rands that are unaccounted for and have gone missing?
“Instead this MEC has her own artists or people in her pockets who are benefiting from her special projects. I know them but can’t name and shame for now,” says the exasperated Ntombela.
“We were told to apply for grants for funding but until this day, none of the artists I know has received feed-back or those funds. Dololo.
How does she expect us to survive knowing very that since the advent of Covid-19, events and music shows have been shut, yet she has millions in her department that are supposed to aid us?” he asked irately.
MEC Hlope is the same as minister of sport, arts and culture Nathi Mthethwa, instead of engaging us as artists, they have a nerve to talk to the press through dialogues and all that, says Ntombela.
“This goes on to show they disregard our craft and our efforts. They must all go.”
The likes of Mzwakhe Mbuli -the Peoples’ Poet- has not received any cent from the department, says Ntombela, who then asked if the calibre of Mzwakhe can’t access funds, what about an unknown, emerging artist? he asked.
“Our task is simple: MEC Hlophe must resign with immediate effect and must go into farming, finish and klaar. We need a leader who can come through for us, not a hypocrite.”
Ntombela is the brains behind the well publicised protest and sit-ins by musicians at the National Arts Council offices in Newtown, when they demanded funding in April this year.
Some of the artists who will form part of the march include Trompies- kwaito group member Eugene Mthethwa, Mzwakhe (in absentia attending a funeral in KZN) and others.
The march begins from 10am at Mary Fitzgerald Square, Monday 23.
Spokesperson for the department Nomazwe Ntlokwana did not reply for a comment at the time of publishing.
Image (MEC for arts, sport in Gauteng -Mbali Hlophe is ‘incompetent’).