A statement released by Cllr Grant Pascoe, Mayoral committee member for Tourism, events and marketing on the 4th of January stated that the City of Cape Town condemns the actions of the ANC during today’s annual Tweede Nuwejaar Minstrel Carnival.

“Instead of celebrating our rich cultural heritage, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Marius Fransman, and Arts and Culture Minister, Paul Mashatile, chose to score cheap political points. Addressing thousands of Capetonians and visitors at the Grand Parade, Mr Fransman and Mr Mashatile claimed it was the ANC that ‘saved’ this year’s Minstrels event”.

Ironically, over the past few weeks, the media has in great detail remitted the relationship between some political leaders and the Cape minstrels. Reports suggested that prominent ANC and DA politicians were ingratiating themselves with minstrel leaders in anticipation of the 2014 elections.

Since the reputations of some minstrel leaders are public knowledge, I considered, what message politicians were sending to the public by validating individuals of ill-repute on a national platform?

Although we are all prone to error and none of us are free of turpitude, is it wise for prominent politicians to interact so intimately with people who have dubious histories. Has our democracy fallen so low that politicians actively and publically seek the support of shady characters? Some would argue that they have paid their debt to society and deserves a chance, though that may be true, does the chances have to be in a leadership position on national television?

In the words of Benjamin Disraeli, “there is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour”. Do we as Capetonians have to accept this inevitability?

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress