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TribeOne Festival: Court case resumes

Proceedings were postponed to give the city time to respond to papers filed by the organisers.

Court proceedings on the cancelled TribeOne Dinokeng Festival have been postponed until Thursday to give the City of Tshwane time to file a response to papers filed by the organisers on 22 September 2014. Picture: Facebook.com

JOHANNESBURG - The court battle between the City of Tshwane and organisers of the now cancelled TribeOne Festival is expected to resume in the High Court in Pretoria this morning.

Proceedings were postponed on Monday to give the city time to respond to papers filed by the organisers.

Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa says they took the organisers to court to ensure the city's reputation is not dragged through the mud.

"The only reason we went to court was to protect ourselves. It's a reputation issue. The face of the concert might be TribeOne, but it's the ultimately the City of Tshwane."

He said that plans are being put into place for the concert to take place at a later date.

The mayor denied that the city failed to properly build the necessary infrastructure for the festival and has blamed organisers for failing to sell enough tickets.

City officials remain adamant that the venue is ready, but organisers, Sony Entertainment and TribeOne, says its assessment showed it was not safe for the three-day event.

The festival, which would have seen performances by 130 local and international artists, including Nicki Minaj and J Cole, was cancelled last week after Sony Music Entertainment Africa pulled out.

The festival was set to take place in Cullinan, Pretoria.

TICKET ISSUE

Ramokgopa says organisers estimated that 100,000 people would attend, but only about 3,000 tickets were sold by the third month.

He says the organisers themselves approved the venue.

"We received a presentation from the organisers themselves, not from our team, which confirmed that they were satisfied and also to share with us how far they were with regard to the sales of the tickets."

An estimated R65 million has been spent for the cancelled event, but Ramokgopa says plans are being put in place for it to go ahead sometime soon.

"The case with regard to a concert of this magnitude in this area remains pending. We are proceeding with it. We are not proceeding with it this week, whether it's with the same outfit or not, we are going to proceed."

NICKI MINAJ REFUND

Ramokgopa also told Eyewitness News the apparent R10 million deposit paid to Minaj to perform at the festival is refundable.

Reports that R65 million was wasted on preparations for the three-day event caused outrage on social media while the municipality and the city have blamed each other.

Ramokgopa said services were expected from Minaj and now that the event has been cancelled, the money paid to her should be refunded.

"I read in the media that R10 million was paid to Nicki Minaj which is non-refundable. Let me correct that, there's a contract between the city and our partners Sony which makes provision very clearly in the contract that if they fail to deliver, the money will be retrieved."

The mayor has also assured taxpayers that no money had been lost due to the cancellation.

He said the city was in arbitration to recoup R25 million and the remaining R40 million was spent on infrastructure development in Cullinan, as well as a nearby informal settlement.

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