Limpopo MEC for sport, arts and culture Thandi Moraka’s department has denied allegations of tribalism levelled against her following the Mapungubwe Arts Festival at the weekend.
Many took to social media following the event, slamming the MEC for allegedly grabbing the mic from legendary Tsonga musician Dr Thomas Chauke while he was performing. She allegedly said she didn’t understand Tsonga music and it was noisy, after taking him off stage.
But her department says it never happened.
“The department wants to make it absolutely clear that the MEC never grabbed the microphone from Dr. Thomas Hasani Chauke, had any contact with him on the stage or uttered any words of hatred towards Xitsonga music and in particular Xitsonga speaking people.
“The department has also noted a concerted effort of tarnishing the MEC and paint her [sic] as a person who do not like Xitsonga speaking people. The MEC has at all times spoken against tribalism and promotion of nation building and social cohesion amongst the people of Limpopo province,” reads the department’s statement.
It further apologised to Chauke for “the way he was treated on stage”, apparently by stage managers.
The “incident” was a result of an item that was planned prior, said the department.
“The MEC personally met with Dr. Thomas Chauke off stage after his performance on the night and that’s when Dr. Chauke allerted [sic] the MEC about the incident. The MEC apologised with the manner in which Dr. Chauke was treated on stage by the stage managers. As the department we value him and the contribution he is making in promoting unity and social cohesion in our communities.”