Andrew Louw, MPL
DA Provincial Leader
The Democratic Alliance finds the political bias being exercised by the HOD of Sport, Arts and Culture, regarding the hiring out of the Mayibuye Multipurpose Centre, completely unacceptable. This comes amidst the ANC being allowed to host the party’s list conference at Mayibuye centre, whilst the DA was previously refused permission to utilise the venue.
In 2011, the DA’s request to hire the venue was turned down. We were informed by the HOD, Mr F Aysen, that whilst the venue was previously utilized for conferences, gala dinners and functions, the centre had done away with its conferencing function. Aysen indicated that this was due to the music academy, drama school, dance academy, visual arts studios as well as the sport academy programmes at the centre. Aysen advised the DA to instead consider hiring out the Mitta Seperepere Convention Centre. At the time, the DA accepted Aysen’s correspondence and didn’t give it a second thought.
Now, however, a new twist has come to light. Namely, that the ANC was granted permission to utilize the venue for its list conference.
It is blatantly obvious that the department is acting in a biased manner towards the ruling party. What the department has forgotten is that the ANC is in fact not an extension of the state. Clear lines exist between the party and the state, and the department is purposefully blurring these lines to accommodate party interests. We strongly suspect that the department also waived rental fees for the ANC.
The DA condemns the HOD’s double standards. He has now set a precedent and if he again refuses the DA access to the Mayibuye venue, we will not hesitate to take him to court.