Dept withdraws from Makeba concert

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pretoria - The Department of Arts and Culture on Wednesday announced its withdrawal from participating in the Miriam Makeba commemorative concert which was scheduled to take place this weekend.

The late Miriam Makeba died last year after suffering a heart attack while taking part in a concert in Italy.

The concert, planned for this weekend, was to honour Mama Africa on the anniversary of her death on 9 November through supporting an event initiated by her family.

Director General Themba Wakashe said the department's withdrawal was due to bad organisation by the concert organiser, Morris Roda Productions.

Wakashe said the department felt it could not continue to sponsor the event because of the organiser not being ready.

"It was a very difficulty decision for us to take. We have not been provided with the necessary assurances as to the state of readiness that would have made this event possible."

Another reason for the department's withdrawal was that some artists who were intended to participate in the event were not consulted and yet their names were used in the advertisement of the event.

"We regret that the names of artists have been used to promote this event without their consent," Wakashe said.

Wakashe apologised to South Africans who were looking forward to the concert.

The department has since filled court papers with the Gauteng North High Court to recover R3 million that had already been paid to Moris Roda Productions.

It is not known if the Makeba tribute concert would continue as planned.