From the news desk

Bo-Kaap murder victim not a Minstrel: CTMA


Earlier this week, during a training session organized by the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA) in Bo- Kaap’s Wale Street, one individual was killed in what was alleged to have been gang related. While the police investigation gets underway,  organizers of the annual event have distanced themselves from reports that the victims is a member of a minstrel troop, instead confirming that he was in fact a spectator and wore no insignia of any troop.

The victim, a Hanover Park resident, was fatally shot in the head, after which police officials arrived on the scene and officially announced the victim dead.

VOC’s Breakfast Beat spoke to CTMCA’s Legal and Compliance Officer, who confirmed that the incident had no direct or indirect relation with the association or its members, and further asserts that the victim was in fact a bystander.

“But, my heart really goes out to the victim’s family, [what happened] is not acceptable,” he added.
He says that the organizers consistently take all precautions when planning the event, but that it remains challenging to ensure that all bystanders act accordingly.

He notes that the status of the victim as being a member of the minstrels was not formally communicated by the CTMCA, but that these assumptions were made by media, further asserting that the victim was only a spectator at the event.

“Councillor [Gareth] Bloor, from the City of Cape Town, in his press release states clearly that the victim was a member and I need to clarify this; the victim was not a member and was never a member of the minstrels.”

“My question to him was: the victim had civilian clothes on, there was no identification of that victim that could identify that he is a member of the troop. And when I spoke to [the councillor] he profusely apologized and he admitted that his sources were incorrect.”

Given concerns that the incident may ignite fear amongst attendees to the annual event, Levy says that organizers do not expect a decrease in numbers since holiday makers wait in anticipation for the event to kick-off.

Levy adds that organizers were scheduled to meet with the City of Cape Town to discuss security improvements, but that the meeting is postponed to next week.

The City of Cape Town has set aside R4 million for the various minstrel events this year. Councillor Eddie Andrews, Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, said the allocation of R4 million is to assist the minstrel groups to procure the necessary services to avoid such incidents like the fatality that occurred on Sunday evening.

“We strongly condemn this illegal march and can confirm that no permit was issued for the back march. Organisers of back marches place their future event applications in jeopardy, as stated in the City’s Events Policy and By-law,” he said.

“I once again call upon all associations to work together and put on a brilliant show that is unique to Cape Town. If anything, do it for the love of this significant cultural event and your families and friends who support you. Let us work together to make progress possible in our great and culturally diverse city.” VOC


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