A talented group of dancers from Bathurst have found themselves embroiled in a feud with their club president over their sound equipment and costumes.
Members of the Bathurst Sakhuluntu dance group, which has participated in a number of dance competitions, approached Talk of the Town recently to complain how their president Nolubabalo Njadayi was controlling the finances and had claimed the group’s sound system as her own.
Masixole Tokwe, Anesipho Kofi and Nasiphi Butana told TotT they were speaking for the entire group about their dilemma.
The dance group was formed in 2014, but because they were the teens at the time they came up with an idea of forming leadership that would consist of elders for guidance purposes. Njadayi was elected president of the group in 2015.
The trio stated that their constitution allows them to change leadership after one year, but Njadayi had been in that position for three years.
“When we told the leadership that we are changing the structure other members of leadership were keen to step down, but Njadayi showed no interest in doing so.
“She refused to step down saying the group was hers,” Tokwe said.
More frustrating to the group members was the confiscation of their property when they tried to tried to change leadership. In her efforts to prevent the change of leadership, Kofi said Njadayi had withheld the sound system and costumes, claiming that they belonged to her.
“The sound system is ours – the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture donated a R60,000 cheque in 2016 for a sound system,” Tokwe said.
Kofi and Tokwe went on to state how Njadayi used their group name to make money for herself. “She started another group of small kids and is using our name, Sakhuluntu,” Kofi said.
According to the complaining trio, when Sakhuluntu is invited to danced at an event, Njadayi takes this mini group as “Sakhuluntu” to represent them.
The confiscation of sound system and costumes has been a bitter pill to swallow for the Sakhuluntu members as they claim that Njadayi is making money with their assets without their consent.
“She is renting our speakers to the tavern,” Kofi said. Tokwe lamented that a tavern owner whom he did not name confirmed that he had hired the speaker from Njadayi.
After several attempts of changing the leadership structure of the dance group to get their belongings, last week the group approached the Port Alfred Magistrate’s Court for advice.
They are still seeking resolution.
Contacted for comment, Njadayi refused to give her side of the story.
“Bhuti, I do not own the group and I don’t why you are calling me,” she said.
Pressed for an answer on the allegations about the sound equipment and costumes she said: “I was part of leadership, not owning the group. I am not going to comment anymore. Phone Mandilakhe [her son] and stop questioning me. Why are you looking for loopholes? Stop accusing me, she said.”
She handed her phone to another person who also referred the reporter to “Mandilakhe”.