While I do not support the wasting of ratepayer’s money, the response from Wilfred Solomons-Johannes manager of special projects and community engagement in the Mayor’s office is ironic and utterly hypocritical. In Cape Times on June 10th he said “We cannot and will not be held accountable for wasting ratepayer’s money on an empty building”.

The City of Cape Town under Democratic Alliance leadership spend nearly R5 billion on an empty stadium that costs ratepayers anywhere from R50 to R100 million in losses annually. Recently the City of Cape Town gave R500 000 to a project named “Open Streets” whose primary objective was to close public streets so that people can walk in the street. Is this not a huge waste of ratepayer’s money? When the presentation was done at sub-council 12 in Mitchells Plain, most of the Councillors were angry at this stupid way in which ratepayer’s money was spent. On 12th September 2013 the Cape Times published an article “City wasting money renting offices which are hardly ever used”. I was interviewed by Zara Nicholson who is also ironically working for the Mayor. I pointed out that several councillors never visited their offices in town which is an evident waste of ratepayer’s money.

By not having access to the Good Hope Centre or a suitable venue at a realistic cost for about 10 days of the year, the City of Cape Town under the Democratic Alliance is uprooting and ending the last remnants of Cape Malay Choir and cultural history. After eviction from the historic suburbs where Malays lived before Apartheid like Constantia, Claremont, Harfield Village, District Six and being financially squeezed out of the Malay Quarters that is the Bo-Kaap, what will remain of Malay culture?

The Cape Malay Choir Board is not just fighting for access to the Good Hope Centre; they are fighting against the obliteration of a living Malay cultural practice that has survived cultural genocide and racist tyranny that has existed for centuries.

We will not go quietly into the dark night.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress