Calls for concert boycott ill-advised: Cabinet

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pretoria - Cabinet has thrown its support behind the hosting of the World Cup kick-off concert scheduled for next week, saying calls for its boycott are "ill-advised."

"The call to boycott the concert by some artists is ill advised as more artists have been included among those performing from South Africa and the African continent," said government spokesperson Themba Maseko at a post-cabinet briefing on Thursday.

He said cabinet called on the parties to sort out all the outstanding issues without resorting to media statements that would undermine the positive mood that South Africans are already experiencing.

On Wednesday, the Local Organising Committee and FIFA said the Kick-Off Celebration Concert, set for 10 June at the Orlando Stadium, to precede this year's opening of the World Cup, will go ahead as planned.

FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke said all preparations for the concert had been finalised, adding that there was no need for people to panic.

A clearly irritated Valcke has shot down the artists' claims.

"It's very sad that eight days before the event people are still raising these issues when everything was discussed and agreed on. It's very sad because as we said before this is an international event and we have tried to create a balance," Valcke said.

However, Organising Committee chairman Irvin Khoza said a meeting would be held with the concerned parties to iron out any differences that may still exist.

A few weeks ago a meeting was held between the Organising Committee board and Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana in a bid to resolve the matter. At the time it was announced that more local artists had been included on the list of performers, both from South Africa and from the African continent.