Question NW818 to the Minister of Sport, Arts andCulture

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31 March 2022 - NW818

Profile picture: Mhlongo, Mr TW

Mhlongo, Mr TW to ask the Minister of Sport, Arts andCulture

(1).With reference to the Public Protector’s report about his department wasting funds on fighting Makeba trustees, what are the reasons that his department got involved in Miriam Makeba’s affairs; (2). whether he has found that fighting the trustees was the right way to promote arts and culture in the Republic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (3). how did his department fund the fight considering that it was not meant to be involved in the matter


1. At the onset, it should be indicated and made clear that the Makeba matter has never been about funding litigation between warring factions. From its inception, the Makeba project has been about the protection and preservation of the intangible heritage of the Makeba legacy as per the mandate of the Department. Amongst other issues, this was the resolution of the dispute between Trustees on the one hand, and Beneficiaries of the ZM Makeba Trust, on the other hand concerning the ownership, protection, and preservation of the Makeba legacy. Miriam Makeba was a national figure, and her legacy remains a national heritage.

2. Yes, this was the right way of protecting the national heritage and legacy. Section 2 of Culture Promotion Act (CPA) gives the Minister express discretionary powers to finance any organisation or project - whose objectives are likely to have an impact throughout the country. In this regard, it was the Minister’s privilege to exercise discretionary powers in deciding whether the objectives are likely to have the needed impact. In this event, my office decided accordingly that this matter would have a national impact and should therefore be addressed.

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