Behold The Office Spectacle At The National Arts Of Conundrums

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Accordingly, please take a seat. After all, this is the NACry Show.

It is a rare view of the Grazing In The Grass BuffaNkole types. Those performing a comic theatre of errors at the expense of citizens. The stage got set at the National Arts Council offices nestled near the Market Theatre at 66 Margaret Mcingana Street, Newton, Johannesburg.


Part one: The Monday Blues Letter

On that account, drums, please! Strolling in is a tall Tshepo Anthony Mashiane. He is a founding member of the Creatives Movement. So, on 23 May, the NAC advertises numerous posts. Consequently, Mashiane applies. Furthermore…, he steps aside as an NAC council member. Next, Mashiane gets an interview. Magic-Magic Vuleka! The man bags the position of Programme Manager – Capacity Building.

On Monday, 11 July 2022, he reports for duty. But then, all of a sudden, before the end of the working day…, Tragedy struck, a Monday Blues letter. Thus, good people, imagine poor Tshepo gets home to the aroma of a soul-food meal whose future is threatened by new developments. The madam excitedly asks, honey, how was your first day at work? Mashiane shrugs, and one-word drops from his lips…,


Njani manje, baby! For the why?

“Well, because….,” He fishes out a piece of paper from his pocket, uncrease it and says…,  “Shall I read, to you, the note from the desk of the NAC interim CEO? She is Marion Mbina-Mthembu. The eyes-popping wife waves that hurried go-on gesture at her hubby.  Then, ubabu Mashiane launches into the silly thing …,

I regret to inform you that it has come to the attention of the National Arts Council (“NAC”) that your appointment to the position of Programme Manager: Capacity Building, as set out in my offer letter dated 30 June 2022, is irregular. As Interim Chief Executive Officer, I …,

Mashiane pauses, thinks to himself and picks up a cup to sip his favourite drink. It got handed to him on arrival. “Baby, the CEO says she has no powers to make the appointment before the full compliance of Council resolution terms of 15 June 2022. Mhh! Let me read further…,”

The HR manager and I were unaware of the Council Resolution regarding the appointment of the Capacity Building Manager, thus creating the current situation. 

In frustration, Mashiane puts the paper down. He looks at his equally stunned sweat-heart and goes on to break it down…, “Love, she is proposing an agreement where I immediately resign from the …,”  

“UPHAMBENE!” The mother of the children intervenes-in defense of his beloved.

Such are some costly errors at the NAC. Therefore, a top secret mouth-watering settlement is likely in the offing. After all, according to NAC Chairperson Celenhle Dlamini, the details of a golden handshake agreement between the NAC and former CEO Rosemary Mangope is no matter for citizens consumption. The Citizen Newspaper has reported Dlamini insists a tight seal of the document, CR17BankStatement stye. Kanti kufihlwa, kufihlwani le engaka about how public funds get (ab)used and how public representatives get bought

Anyway, what is the NAC resolution spelling out? Contacted, Mashiane would not say a word. However, sources say he has not resigned but was told to work from home. To the questions sent, Mbina-Mthembu opts to say not much. Because the matter is “being dealt with by the lawyers.” Dlamini just blue ticks our message.


Part Two -No Retreat, No Surrender


The NAC dealings in the shadows deserve persistent calls for accountability and transparency. On that account, one person that leads the way is Freddie Nyathela, president of the South African Roadies Association. So far, no amount of terrorism by the law, rejection and power drunkenness cower Nyathela.

 Just now. On 07 June, through the interim CEO, the NAC filed an affidavit to have Nyathela spanked by the law for not abiding by a 20 September 2018 court order. He is to desist from making and posting, on social media, what is deem to be defamatory statements against the NAC.  But those in the know say you cannot be muzzled with an accusation that you are defaming the state or its organs. 

So, a defiant Nyathela insists on not being censored because here, the NAC is practizing a system of council-ism bordering along the lines of fascism. There is, he says, a big-fat-rotten rat to smell in the movements of money around the Expired Projects And Surplus Policy of the NAC.

The stink, he suggests, is in the form of (painful stings to the NAC) corruption, theft, thievery, looting of funds and rampant fraud. The stuff of serious millions, up to a high of R70 million surplus in year -2012 to 2013.

So there is case number 233/10/2020 opened by the Hawks. But after some surface ‘investigation’ the Director of Public Prosecution, Gauteng Local Division, come back with a…,

Sorry, no mercury is rising here, Freddy. Well, that does not sit well on the big-toe corns of Nyathela. Hence, the chief roadie petitions the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions. The response came back to say the investigation was shabby. So, presently the case is reopen. Now, the history of the NAC suggests should case 233/10/2020 go to court. Then more money that should make a difference in the arts would go to another court battle.

Those are funds that could get utilized to realize the objectives of the NAC. These include encouraging opportunities (creating a conducive environment) for people to practise the arts. Additionally, to develop, promote and encourage excellence in the arts.

Indeed, many in the creative community were yet to invoke a line from the Shakespeare Merry Wives of Windsor. You know to say, the world is my oyster because the NAC has tirelessly worked to create a conducive environment for all. To conclude, the Tshepo Mashiane saga shows the NAC is no Mother-of-Pearl. Hence there is hardly a view of it as a smooth entity showing luminous colours that dazzle when observed from multiple angles.

Alas! NACry-o!


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