The gloves are off! After being accused of mishandling a R15 million grant given to the Cultural & Creative Industries Federation of SA, the organization’s former deputy president has denied any allegations made by artists like Mercy Pakela and Eugene Mthethwa that he used any funds inaccurately.
In an interview with City Press, says that until he resigned in February, he was not made aware of any mishandling of funds.
“I’m no longer part of that organisation. I only know that CCIFSA got funding in 2015 and later in 2017. As far as I know, the money was used to not only run the organisation but ensure that all the relevant meetings across South Africa are held and all the items on the agenda that needed financial attention received it,” Papa Penny says. “It cost money to have meetings, to plan things, etc. I know nothing about ‘mishandling’ money. We also submitted (financial) reports to the department every year, so whoever has doubts should check those.”
The CCIFSA is a controlling body set up with the assistance of the Department of Arts and Culture for cultural and creative sectors in South Africa. It’s a non-profit company meant to promote and develop the social and economic interests of the cultural and creative industries and to act as the controlling body for these sectors.
In another interview, the reality star adds that the scandal is all about “petty politics” – something that was a main factor in his resignation earlier this year. “The problem came with people who wanted to use the platform to politic. The problem with artists is that they are fuelled by poverty or the fear of poverty,” he said. “They think that once you get a title on a board or in a company that automatically means that you are rich. That was not the case here. Positions don’t come with money and I wasn’t serving in the federation for money anyway.”