National Arts Council lays criminal complaint against protesting artists

South Africa

Johannesburg – The National Arts Council has laid criminal complaints against artists staging a sit-in at its offices in Johannesburg.

The 20 to 40 demonstrator group said that the council was trying to force them out of the building in Newtown.

The demonstrators have been occupying the premises for more than a month now. They are demanding answers about the R300 million Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme and, more specifically, where the money has gone.

The funds were meant to create employment and retain initiatives for artists and others in the cultural sector affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

An artist, Savage Tau, said that they had every right to occupy the building.

“They are talking about unlawful things that we are doing in the building, yet I don’t know what those are. They are just saying that we are occupying the space unlawfully and forgetting that this is a public domain.”

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