Protests at the South African North West Province have led to the cancellation of the Rutanang Book Fair 2018.
South Africa’s North West province with its capital Mahikeng is the epicentre of what has become almost a war zone over local politics. Violence and blockage of main roads has brought the city and the region almost to a standstill. Residents of Mahikeng and surrounding villages have shut down the capital of the province, demanding that Premier Supra Mahumapelo resign. This emergency was seen as so deadly that newly minted President Cyril Ramaphosa cut a trip to London to deal with the situation.
The city of Tlokwe, which is only two and a half hours from Mahikeng, has also been affected by these protest. Organisers of the Rutanang Book Fair 2018 have announced that they have postponed this year’s edition of the festival until further notice. The statement that the organisers have released states in full;
CANCELLATION: RUTANANG BOOK FAIR 2018.
It is with regret that we have to announce the postponement of the Rutanang Book Fair 2018 which was scheduled to take place on 26-28 April 2018.
The postponement is due to the protests that are happening in the North West province. With blockading of major roads, and the unpredictable nature of protests Rutanang does not want to put the lives of artists and its patrons at risk.
We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience caused due to this postponement. The new dates for the event will be published in due course.
We here at JamesMurua.com support this stance from the team organising the fair as safety of both artists and audiences are key to any event. If you as an organising committee cannot guarantee the safety of the people who take part it is only fair that you cancel and sort that issue out.
We shall keep you in the loop as and when there are any new developments.