Muzzle on the Maloof is an attempted cover-up

Andrew Louw, MPL

DA Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance strongly suspects that the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development’s blaring silence on the future of the Maloof Money Cup is an attempt by the provincial government to buy time to formulate a cover-up for what has in effect turned into a monumental multi-million rand flop.

It is very sad that an event with such potential seems to have fallen flat, with the Maloof family allegedly having pulled out of the championship in Kimberley. Thousands of young people have devoted their time to skateboarding and have been saving to buy tickets for the highly publicized Maloof extravaganza. And now government won’t even come forward to explain what went wrong – this is a travesty!

The provincial government, through their incompetence and inefficiency, has made a mockery of this town. They have invited people from the world over to attend an event that has not been properly managed and this has reflected badly on the people of Kimberley. The Ciara concert flop and the pitiful condition of the bleak event grounds, that didn’t even feature a blade of grass until earlier this year but saw the next-door dumps covered in litter, are a basic example, but are evidence of this.

From the word go, this event has been shrouded in secrecy. And while we know that the Department of Economic Development has spent at least R160 million on the event, even the legislature portfolio committees have not been able to unearth the true extent of the overall expenditure by government departments on this event. At the same time, budgets have been overspent and realigned specifically to accommodate this event.

It is high time that those politicians and officials responsible for securing and managing this event be held accountable, not least of all MEC John Block, the head honcho, who himself engaged heavily in talks with the Maloof family to secure the event. Block, together with all relevant departments, must be summonsed to an urgent meeting whereby all cards are laid on the table. The event has usurped a great deal of funds intended for creating growth and economic opportunity in the Northern Cape and hence the many unemployed of this province deserve to know the truth about the Maloof and its real beneficiaries.