R10m paid to Nicki Minaj for botched gig back to haunt Tshwane

A R10-million payment made to international rapper Nicki Minaj nine years ago has come back to haunt the City of Tshwane.

In 2014, Tshwane sponsored the Dinokeng Tribe One Music Festival scheduled to take place in September of that year in Cullinan.

However, the festival was cancelled at the last minute. This was due to various reasons including the state of readiness of the stage where the mega star would have performed.

At the time, Nicki Minaj, real name Onika Tanya Maraj, had signed a contract with Tshwane which did not propel her to refund the city and event organisers, Sony Music South Africa, in case of a cancellation.

The city also reportedly paid a whooping R65-million to the organisers of the bash which was dubbed “Africa’s biggest music festival”.

Other acts who would have shared the stage with Nicki Minaj included Grammy award winners Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, J Cole, and Kid Ink.

After years of silence following a KPMG report which listed irregularities by the city following the cancellation of the event and punitive suggestions for implicated officials, the DA in Tshwane has called for action to be taken.

In a media statement released by DA MP Manny de Freitas on Monday, the party requested to table a motion in council where the report would be discussed at length.

Freitas said: “Last week, the DA presented Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille with a copy of the KPMG final report from 2017 into the City of Tshwane’s Dinokeng Music Festival investigation.

“The KPMG report provides a plethora of detailed information which includes how it appears that inflated payment figures provided by the then director of communications, marketing and events, Nomasonto Ndlovu, do not match invoiced amounts with the differences not explained.”

It also stated that Ndlovu, currently acting as CEO at Tourism South Africa (SAT), should be brought to book for her involvement in the botched festival.

“The KPMG report recommended on page 85 that the City of Tshwane should consider [taking] action against Ndlovu.

“It is our view that the seriousness of the findings against Ndlovu must be considered in relation to appointing or retaining Ndlovu as SAT CEO, even in an acting capacity.”

He said he approached his colleague councillor Siobhan Muller, who serves on the municipal public accounts committee (MPAC), to “unbury” the KPMG report.

“Councillor Muller will request that this report be tabled at an upcoming MPAC meeting to now start an investigation process into the findings of this report.

“Should such an investigation reveal that there was malfeasance involving Ms Ndlovu, this will have a direct bearing on SAT and indeed the Department of Tourism,” he said.


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