Johannesburg – South Africans should boycott the World Cup opening concert because it would not showcase the country’s “true rhythm and culture”, a group of organisations said on Tuesday.
“Artists representing true South African rhythm are not being represented at the concert and our culture has got to be promoted on the global stage,” Kid Sithole, president of the Creative Workers Union of SA (CWUSA), told media in Johannesburg.
Grammy award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo were among the artists
excluded, he said.
The CWUSA, SA Football Players Union, SA National Civic Organisation,Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association, Young Communist League of SA, ANCYL, Sasco and the SA Liquor Traders Association (Salta) said they would mobilise people “from all over” to voice their disappointment.
However, Sithole could not clarify if there would be an actual picket at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on June 10 when the concert would take place.
“If people do come to picket at the stadium, it would be at their own risk. We will not take responsibility for any violence, if there is any,” he said.
“We are appealing to people to voice themselves by staying at home and not going for this concert,” said Sithole.
CWUSA was not violent and only practised peace.
Sithole added they were not asking the artists to boycott the performance because they had contractual agreements.Halt liquor supply Salta said it would support the cause by stopping the supply of liquor to the venue on the night of the concert.
“People must just drink water, they will not have any liquor,” said a Salta representative.
South African artists included in the line up were Goldfish, Lira, Loyiso Bala, Kwani Experience, Steadyrock, Tumi Molekane, and 340ml.
They would join a host of international stars including Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, Anglique Kidjo, John Legend and Juanes.
South African artists were equal to international stars like Shakira, but were being sidelined, the organisations said.
“We do not trust FIFA anymore… they come here with the intention of controlling us on South African soil,” said Salta.
The group also expressed frustration at the cost of concert tickets which were R450 each.
“Our own people cannot afford this kind of money. This concert has been made for the elite. You have excluded the working class of this country, said CWUSA general secretary Oupa Lebogo.
The concert would start at 16:00 and was expected to draw about 30 000 fans.