Wed Sep 24 02:25:46 SAST 2014

'My son will get you!'

Jan 14, 2013 | PHINDI SIBIYA |

TROMPIES member and Creative Workers Union of SA acting general secretary Eugene Mthethwa has had sleepless nights for the past month.

This courtesy of chief director for cultural development in the Department of Arts and Culture, Glenn Ujebe Masokoane, who warned him to "sleep with one eye open".

The two are said to have crossed swords during a meeting at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria in December, called by President Jacob Zuma to discuss issues affecting artists.

Mthethwa is said to have have told Masokoane his speech at the event was sanitised and that the department had been holding countless workshops without any tangible delivery.

"He basically said he didn't understand why they continued touring the world to study the industry when the answers lay here with the musicians," says the source.

One of the artists who was present says Masokoane promised to "have his son deal with him (Eugene) because he undermined him".

Both Mthethwa and Masokoane confirm they had a heated exchange during the meeting, attended by, among others, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane and his deputy Obed Bapela.

The altercation was also witnessed by legendary producer Chicco Twala, Tshepo Mngomezulu and Muvhango producer Duma Ka Ndlovu.

Twala is understood to have stopped it from getting physical, while Ka Ndlovu tried to calm Masokoane.

Mthethwa took the threat seriously and filed a formal complaint against Masokoane, addressed to Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Joe Phahla and signed by CWUSA president Mabutho Sithole.

It reads in part: "We wish to express our dismay at the unbecoming behaviour displayed by a senior government official known to us as Mr Glen[n] Masokoane in full view of the President's guests.

"... verbally attacked our acting general secretary, ... making serious threats of having his son dealing with him ..."

Masokoane says: "I'm a man in his 60s and Eugene is a small boy. I wouldn't stoop to his level. I told him off because I felt he picked on me personally and undermined me in front of big shots.

"I wasn't going to let that go by. My son is his age and is an expert in Tai-Chi and Kung-Fu, that's why I promised that he'll moer him. I didn't say I'd kill him.

"I'm not ashamed of what I said because I meant it. If I was his age I would have boxed him myself."

He is surprised about the formal complaint, saying he will deal with it when he returns to work as he is still on holiday.

"I see people want to gain fame through me; they have time on their hands," he says.

An amused Mthethwa says: "I'm happy he confirmed it. Now I'll just wait for the outcome of the complaint. The arts department wasted our time. They don't think for us and I'm not apologetic for what I said."

phindis@sundayworld.co.za

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Wed Sep 24 02:25:46 SAST 2014 ::

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