The Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has distanced itself from claims of involvement in the alleged theft of the recent NC Diamond Awards ceremony concept.
THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has distanced itself from claims of involvement in the alleged theft of the recent NC Diamond Awards ceremony concept.
The awards ceremony was held at the Northern Cape Theatre on Friday, October 30.
This comes after a businessman, Quinton Mlaza, the owner of Buang Entertainment Incorporated Pty/Ltd and who comes from Kimberley, accused the department of giving his concept to a Limpopo-based businessman, Matodzi Makananisa of Fame SA, to run with.
Mlaza said that he is seeking legal recourse after the awards were presented as the brainchild of Makananisa.
Mlaza indicated that the awards concept has changed names three times since his first apparent presentation to the provincial Department of Sport, Arts and Culture in 2015.
He said that he had been working with Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) members Thabo Motlhabi and Phemelo Sediti, who are now working for Makananisa.
According to Mlaza, the initial launch was supposed to be in December 2020, until Covid-19 interrupted his plans.
He indicated that they had laid out the plan of his proposal and that there is a “paper trail” to prove his case.
Mlaza said it came as a surprise to him to learn that an “exact duplicate” of his initiative was being launched just a few days before his initial deadline.
“That concept had the same look and feel, which is too much of a coincidence. The proposal, concept, budget and the partnerships, and the theme, were exactly like the one that I presented again and again,” said Mlaza.
Makananisa denied the allegations of stealing the concept and threatened to take legal action for defamation of character after Mlaza accused him of theft on social media.
Makananisa accused Mlaza of trying to mobilise sympathy from the public, while he had come to the Northern Cape to invest and uplift local artists.
“I came to the Northern Cape province to invest as a businessman and approached Sediti and Motlhabi, and not the other way round. I am now forced to take drastic steps due to his behaviour; even after we agreed that he retract his statement and apologise,” said Makananisa.
According to Makananisa, he has been applying for the awards for years and was not getting a positive response. He said he only registered the awards with the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) in 2018 and that it was not brought to his attention that a similar concept exists.
“Awards are not owned anywhere. I will not give attention to a person who is lost,” said Makananisa.
The Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture indicated that the objectives presented to it will be beneficial to artists in the Province.
Department spokesperson Conrad Fortune said that Makananisa had presented the Northern Cape Awards concept to the provincial government, where he outlined the aims and objectives of the awards and what they intend achieving.
“The awards are a symbol of acknowledgement, recognition and appreciation of the artists of the Northern Cape for their outstanding efforts displayed through music, drama, arts, crafts and film,” said Fortune.
“The current situation regarding the ownership of the awards concept is a matter between Mr Makananisa and Mr Mlaza.”