The president of ActionSA, Herman Mashaba, has offered legal help to members of the National Arts Council who have been protesting for weeks.
The artists staged a sit-in since early March at the National Arts Council in Newtown, Johannesburg since March. They have been demanding answers to the R300-million funding irregularities connected to the Presidential Economic Stimulus Package (PESP).
Mashaba came along with his legal team, led by advocate Wendel Bloem of Mkhabela Huntley Attorneys.
Mashaba said he wants government to give to the artists what is due to them.
“Following our first meeting with the protesting artists, I wrote an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to intervene in this matter and ensure that these artists, who are an intergral part of our society are given what is due to them as promised,” reads a statement posted by Mashaba on Twitter.
ActionSA Supports Artists’ Legal Action Against the NAC
DATE: 19 April 2021 RELEASE: Immediate pic.twitter.com/cbf8OE6LO0
— Nkele Molapo (@NkeleMolapo) April 19, 2021
During the meeting, Mashaba told the artists that his legal team will help with the PESP funding issue. He assured the artists that they don’t have to worry about the legal costs.
“I am here following my meeting with you last month. I strongly believe that the arts industry is more than important. If you had accepted the status quo and continued to suffer in silence, losing homes and everything, no-one would have known about your plight. As ActionSA, we commit to take care of legal costs and doing whatever is possible to assist you. Our role is to introduce the legal team and you brief them on your issues,” he said.
“You don’t have to worry about the costs of this legal intervention. We are giving you a legal team that has proven to us that when it comes to human rights abuse, they go beyond the call of duty,” he added.
The artists thanked Mashaba for coming to their aid.
Despite their trying and challenging circumstances as Artists, it was a pleasure to meet Mercy Phakela at NAC building. She is unfortunately one of the Artists affected by this uncaring government pic.twitter.com/ZMYKz73KO6
— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) April 19, 2021
Image courtesy of Pixabay.