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NETWORK FOR ARTS AND CULTURE SOUTH AFRICA (NACSA) (article first published : 2003-06-5)

The Director General of the Department of Arts and Culture, Professor Itumeleng Mosala, has written to the Network for Arts and Culture South Africa, to express regret that he cannot attend the launch of NACSA in Johannesburg on June 7.

After initially agreeing to be the keynote speaker, Prof Mosala withdrew due to "pressing commitments" and offered to send an alternative representative from the Department. However, NACSA's Interim Steering Committee wrote and asked Prof Mosala to reconsider his decision to withdraw, as the launch of NACSA represented a significant development in the organisation of the arts and culture sector. As the new DG, his attendance at the launch would symbolise a new beginning between the new Department of Arts and Culture, and the arts and culture community.

In response to NACSA's letter, Prof Mosala wrote that he would "not be coming on this occasion, and not ever on any other you may be tempted to invite me to."

NACSA's Interim Steering Committee then issued a media release highlighting the DG's response, and which received wide media coverage.

After communicating telephonically with one of NACSA's Interim Steering Committee members, the Director General has now written to NACSA, saying "I am writing to state again that there was never any intention on my part nor that of the department to snub the launch of NACSA. I deeply regreted then and now that I cannot be available anymore for the occasion. I am pleased that you accept my apology in good faith. Let me also take the opportunity to wish you very well at the launch and to commit to good working relations in the future as was the intention from the beginning."

"We are pleased by Prof Itumeleng Mosala's response, and look forward to meeting with him and the Department in the future," said Andries Oliphant, Chairperson of the Interim Steering Committee of NACSA. "Committed to work constructively with the Department of Arts and Culture, we thank everyone, including the media, who have helped to contribute to an amicable resolution. We now consider this matter closed."

The Network for Arts and Culture South Africa, a national umbrella body representing all disciplines and sectors of arts and culture in the country, will be launched at Museum Africa in Johannesburg on June 7. For further details, contact Georgina Thomson at 011-482 4140.




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