National Arts Council lays criminal complaint against protesting artists

The group of about 20 to 40 demonstrators said the council is trying to force them out of the building in Newtown.

FILE: South African artists are seeking legal redress over the presidential employment stimulus package. Picture: Veronica Makhoali/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Arts Council has laid criminal complaints against artists who have staged a sit-in at its offices in Johannesburg.

The group of about 20 to 40 demonstrators said that the council was trying to force them out of the building in Newtown.

They've been occupying the premises for more than a month now, demanding answers about the R300 million Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme and, more specifically, where the money has actually gone.

The funds were meant to create employment and retain initiatives for artists and others in the cultural sector affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Savage Tau, one of the artists, said that they had every right to occupy the building.

"They are talking about unlawful things that we are doing in the building, yet I don’t know what those are. They are just saying that we are occupying the space unlawfully and forgetting that this is a public domain."

WATCH: Artists protest over mismanaged R300m relief fund

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