Dear Utjane Dam Picnic fan.
Apologies for coming back to you so late, it hasn’t been easy coming to terms that the event was really stopped.
Following the interference of the event by the police on 31st December 2016, most of you were left confused, frustrated, angry and feeling robbed.
Firstly as the Utjane Dam organisers we want to apologise to everyone who attended, apologise to everyone who was on the way to the event and had to turn back because of the traffic jam caused by the police, apologise to everyone who planned to come to the event but could not even leave in the first place because you probably heard the bad news before you could even depart.
We want to put it on record that since Utjane Dam Picnic was formed in 2013, we have always engaged with The Aganang Municipality, where we submitted a letter with the intention to host an event, that letter would be stamped, then we would take it to the police station together with another letter which ask the police for protection. In the past three years we have never experienced problems while following this procedure.
WHAT GOT US STUNNED:
Most of you know that Aganang got dissolved and we as Mashashane got absorbed by Polokwane Municipality. Not knowing that Polokwane Municipality operates differently from Aganang when it comes to events, we submitted letters as we did in previous years, same letters got stamped by the same police station that stamped the previous events’ letters. Posters and banners were distributed as usual way before the day of the event. ONLY ON FRIDAY 30TH, we receive a call from the police station telling us that they see our event posters and asking if our event complies with the event Act. As surprised as we were, we all went to the police station to understand why we being asked if the event complies when they have already stamped the letter we submitted to them early in December, and why are we asked about compliance only on the 30th when the event is the following day. To our surprise, we were told that the very same letter they signed did not mean anything, therefore the event could not go on.
After a very long meeting where we even managed to get hold of municipal officers, the municipal officers agreed to come meet with us the following day so that the matter could be put to rest and told us they would speak to those involved at the police station, and therefore giving us a permission to proceed with the event. We woke up on the 31st and prepared for the event as normal. In the afternoon we received a call from the police station asking us if we did proceed with the event, and the answer was “yes, we spoke to the municipality and they told us to proceed as they were gonna discuss this matter with you.” as confused and as we were, we started making calls trying to get the matter sorted, it was not long after we received a call that the police were at the gate and they wanted the event organiser, when we got to the gate, one officer immediately said “We are giving you thirty minutes to switch off, else we are arresting you and we take the sound system.” We still tried to understand why they were so passionate about cancelling the event which has never had problems at all, still the only thing we could hear from them was that they were not interested in everything we had to say to them, and that led to us switching off and announcing what they ordered us to do.
We can sit here and debate who might be behind the whole thing but at the end of the day that wont bring back the fun we promised you. the fun that you were deprived of. It wont bring back all the passionate planning we went throug the entire year.
It is clear that the whole thing was political, but we shall not entertain it. We as Utjane Dam Picnic organisers will take the bullet and apologise to you as the picnic’s fans.
We have looked at the very same Act which was used as an excuse to stop the event and we promise you that we shall leave no stone unturned to make sure that every box is ticked up to the end where we are given a green light to proceed with the event.
Again, we apologise for the inconvenience and we want you to know that we remain committed to making sure such hiccups are avoided at all costs. We remain committed to making sure that Utjane Dam Picnic delivers the quality service it advertises to you from the day of the launch. We remain committed that at most, your safety is guaranteed and you do not wish you could have spent your quality time somewhere else. Rest assured that such shinanigans will never happen again.
We look forward to hosting you on 31st December 2017
Utjane Dam Picnic organisers.
For any further clarity, feel free to contact us direct
082 665 1309
Bareng Madubanya (Founder)