Some fear mudslinging will tarnish Minstrel Parade

The annual Minstrel Parade took place in the Cape Town CBD yesterday after a few postponements.

Celebrations at the annual Cape Minstrels Tweede Nuwe Jaar Parade. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Some supporters of the Cape Minstrel Carnival say they fear political mudslinging will tarnish the event in future.

The annual Minstrel Parade took place in the Cape Town CBD yesterday after a few postponements.

Transport problems and political differences have been cited as some of the main problems.

One person that attended the event says shifting it should be non-negotiable.

"This is a culture that was invented at the time of the slaves. That's why I would like the expectation of the carnival should go back to the first New Year. The only time it can liaise and change is on a Friday and a Sunday but it should go back because that's the time when everybody is fresh."


A record number of minstrels took part in Cape Town's Tweede Nuwe Jaar celebrations yesterday.

Thousands of spectators lined the streets to witness the event.

Almost 13,000 minstrels participated in this year's event.

Spectators lined the streets from the early hours of Saturday morning to catch the historic festivities.

A woman says it's a tradition she can't miss out on.

"It's a great pleasure for me to come and celebrate because I've been a supporter all my life."

One man told Eyewitness News the historical festival was worth the wait.

WATCH: Minstrels magic hits Cape Town.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa says more needs to be done to preserve the history behind the Cape Minstrel parade.

Despite a record number of minstrels participating in this year's extravaganza, the turnout did not match that of previous years.

One woman told Eyewitness News a number of preparation hiccups are to blame for the seemingly fewer number of spectators.

"There was a bit of disappointment, the event wasn't held when it had to be and I think that's the reason why some people were fed up and stayed away."

These sentiments were echoed by Nathi Mthethwa in his address of the crowds yesterday.

"We celebrate the Tweede Nuwejaar on 2 January and that date should not be interfered with. It is sacrosanct."

Many spectators believe the historic event symbolises their culture and Cape Town's history.

Pictures by Aletta Gardner