The National Arts Council has been vindicated by the final ruling of the Office of the Public Protector of South Africa (PPSA) on matters between the National Arts Council (NAC) and Mr. Freddy Nyathela which amongst others include how the NAC has treated its “Expired Projects & Surplus Funds Policy”. The Public Protector has ruled that the NAC fully complied with the remedial actions as set out by the PPSA.
At a meeting convened by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Sport, Arts & Culture on the 17th March 2023, attended by the Office of the Public Protector (PPSA) , the Auditor General (AG), the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) and Members of the National Arts Council, the PPSA represented by Ms. Nelisiwe Nkabinde, (The Chief Operating Officer of the PPSA) gave the final PPSA ruling that they were fully satisfied with the remedial actions as recommended by the PPSA, that the NAC fully complied as per their recommendations and they consider the matter now closed.
This follows nine year old debacle that has been characterised by Mr. Freddie Nyathela wrongly and unfairly attacking and slandering the NAC, its Chairperson, Members of Council, Management and Staff publicly on various platforms (media and others).
These malicious and vicious attacks by Mr. Freddie Nyathela will now be further dealt with in a pending legal matter which will be heard in April 2023 in the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division – Johannesburg against both Mr. Nyathela and SARA. The background of the matter being that in 2018, the NAC won an interdict against them which stated as follows:
“[Mr. Nyathela & SARA] are interdicted from making, publishing, causing to be published, retweeting, commenting on Facebook or Twitter or disseminating any defamatory statements concerning the [NAC], including the same or similar statements as those forming the subject matter of this application.”
In spite of the above court ruling, Mr. Freddy Nyathela has continued to wrongfully defame and character assassinate the NAC and its Members. His complete and utter disregard for the rule of law and judicial authority persists and we have been left with no choice but to approach the courts to deal with this unfortunate disregard of the law and personal injury to the NAC and its Members.
The NAC Council led by its Chairperson, H.R.H. Princess Celenhle Dlamini, has welcomed this ruling and thanked the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Sport, Arts & Culture for convening this meeting and for the Public Protector of South Africa providing a clear and final ruling on this nine year old matter.
She further stated that “This ruling will allow the NAC to put this Mr. Nyathela matter behind us as it has always been our wish to never be at loggerheads with the industry we have been called to serve. The NAC Council, Management & Staff wish to focus on more important matters related to the underfunding of the arts and culture sector, and in particular ensuring the NAC supports and develops the arts as per the NAC Act through the funding we distribute annually to artists”
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Issued by the National Arts Council of South Africa