Artists vow to continue NAC sit-in despite court order

Artists from across the country have held pickets and protested over what they call maladministration of the NAC funds that have been allocated for artists through the R300 million Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme.

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

CAPE TOWN - Artists who have been picketing and sitting in at the offices of the National Arts Council (NAC) office in Johannesburg said they are going nowhere. This despite a High Court order ordering them to vacate the premises and to end their sit-in.

Artists from across the country have held pickets and protested over what they call maladministration of the NAC funds that have been allocated for artists through the R300 million Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme.

Thami Mbongo, who has been part of the sit since the beginning of March, said he and many other artists will continue with the sit-in.

“We will wait and see what the police will do because we’ve made it clear that we are here with the people. The NAC goes and lies that we have been vandalising the building… we have made threats.”

It’s been a devastating year for artists who haven’t worked in more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and hard lockdown.

Mbongo said they saw the court order via social media and no one handed them a hard copy of the order.

“We have not received anything in hand to anyone that is here at the sit-in. We will continue with the sit-in.”

He said despite the NAC’s statements on the beneficiaries who received funding, they were yet to see the money.

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