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NACSA MEDIA RELEASE (article first published : 2004-12-22)

Media release from NACSA:

The Network for Arts and Culture South Africa (NACSA) warmly welcomes the sacking of the Board of the National Arts Council (NAC), a move that we believe to be long overdue.

NACSA congratulates Minister Pallo Jordan on taking this step in order to restore the image of and effective governance at the country's premier arts and culture funding body.

More than a year ago, NACSA called for an independent investigation into the allegations by the management against the Board and the counter-allegations by the Board against the management. The previous Minister and the Director General to whom these calls were addressed, ignored this request, and we believe that their inaction resulted in the ongoing decline of the institution.

"We are very concerned about the increasing allegations of maladministration and of the abuse of public resources by some of the Board members," said Prof Andries Oliphant, Chairperson of NACSA. "We called for an investigation then, and we believe that an investigation must be held now into what has happened over the last eighteen months. Those who are guilty of abusing the NAC's resources and of contravening its various procedures and codes, must be brought to book in order to bring closure to this period of decline at the NAC," he continued.

"We further believe that an investigation must be held into the role and complicity of the leadership of the Department of Arts and Culture in this episode, their reluctance to take action at appropriate times and their failure to secure the resources of the NAC even when serious allegations of abuse had been leveled at senior members of the Board. Appropriate action must be taken against those responsible," said Oliphant.

NACSA called on the arts and community to take seriously the appointment of a new board, and to begin to identify individuals with a passion for the arts, with sound track records in their disciplines, with credibility within the sector and with integrity in order to nominate them to serve on the new Board.

"Unlike last year, and while we still have some way to go, at least we are ending this year with a sense of relief, and the opportunity for a new beginning," ended Oliphant.




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