Dept takes responsibility for poor sound

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pretoria - The Department of Arts and Culture says it takes full responsibility for problems experienced with the sound system, which led to Freedom Day proceedings in Durban being disrupted on Monday.

Some members of the crowd gathered at the national event at the Absa Stadium, began singing loudly, as President Kgalema Motlanthe delivered his speech.

According to the department, when the crowd could not hear President Motlanthe's speech, some started to signal that fact to the programme director.

"We witnessed this and the programme director responded and indicated that we were aware of the sound problem and were working on it," the department stated.

The department said it was thus surprised to read reports in certain media which said the crowd had heckled the President.

"As the leading institution in the preparations and implementation of Freedom Day celebrations, the Department of Arts and Culture would like to state that reports of crowds heckling President Kgalema Motlanthe are untrue," the department said in a statement.

The department said the reports were misleading and aimed at creating sensationalism.

"The fact is that the sound system used at the stadium was of poor quality and we (national Department of Arts and Culture) take full responsibility for that. The matter was immediately discussed at the end of the event and more discussions will follow to ensure that this does not happen again," the department explained.

The department said that the masses of people present at the stadium knew that President Motlanthe was the main speaker at the Freedom Day celebrations.

"They had travelled many hours to attend the event and came there because they wanted to hear him addressing them and to celebrate 15 years of freedom," it said.

Despite the sound problems, the Freedom Day event proceeded smoothly and true to the theme: 'Together celebrating our democracy and building a better life for all'