An urgent application by the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association to compel the City of Cape Town to approve a street parade this weekend has been set aside by the Cape High Court. For the first time in 19 years, the Voorsmaakie parade will not take place. The event is seen as buildup to the Tweede Nuwe Jaar festival on 2 January.
The Minstrel’s Association took the City to court to compel it to approve the permit for Saturday’s parade. But the court application was dismissed with costs. Outside the high court, scores of minstrels’ supporters voiced their anger, saying the court let them down. Many supporters said they looked forward to the parade all year.
“We are very disappointed, as there will be no Voorsmaakie event,” said association spokesperson Kevin Momberg.
“The law has got to take its course. If we didn’t things right, and the judge pointed that out, then we have to accept and live with the result.”
Momberg said the association will be back in court on Monday and is confident that the outcome will be reversed.
According to the city, organisers did not comply with a number of requirements in order to obtain the permits, including the submission of safety and security, traffic and waste management plans in preparation for the event. There are also allegations of outstanding fees from the last event.
“Those applications have to be compliant. It is also the responsibility to ensure that the correct grading is compliant. The SAPS has withdrawn the grading and the event organisers aren’t compliant in that regard. The city cannot issue a permit. It is important that the safety of all the participants and observers is ensured and therefore the city cannot issue a permit,” said Eddie Andrews.
Speaking to VOC on Thursday, CTMCA chairperson Kevin Momberg, denied the claims, accusing the City of “playing games”.
“This is the 20th year we’ve been doing this event so it’s very strange and funny that we’re now not complying with their plans. We’re sitting here with a whole bundle of plans which we’re now going to sort out to prove to the courts that we’ve got the plans. Since when do we owe them money from last year when we haven’t received any invoice?” he asserted.
Momberg believes the association is being punished for political reasons.
“All this is happening because the minstrels attended the 103rd birthday of the ANC at Cape Town stadium. After that, all hell broke loose.”
“We don’t want to argue with them in the media. They must come to court and prove their claims.”
Amongst the claims is that the association owes the city R4 million from last year’s event.
“We have been negotiating with them on the plans for the carnivals since May this year. If we owed them money, why are they saying this now? We do not know about this outstanding account,” said Momberg.
“But last year’s event was less than R200 000. This year, they are charging us R1.3million rand.”
Momberg admitted that there were “one or two issues”, but that the City was “blowing things out of proportion”.
“They are continuously trying to punish us and distance themselves from us. They want to divide us.”
He said the association wanted “our fair share of money”, but more importantly, an opportunity to stage the event.
In November, the City announced that it had aside R4 million for the various minstrel events this year. The allocation of R4 million is to assist the minstrel groups to procure the necessary services.
The CTMCA’s attorney said they hoped the court would rule on the matter by 2pm.