Organisers of the upcoming Tribute To Women Music Festival have defended their decision to drop multi-award-winning singer, Kelly Khumalo, from the event.
Festival director, Joe Chakela, says the decision was “solely based on safety and security.”
Social media has been abuzz after they released a statement on Monday, saying the singer will not be gracing their stage as previously indicated.
Chakela says they have communicated with Khumalo’s team, and it is aware of their decision.
The move comes after evidence in the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial linked the singer to one of the suspects.
Last week, a police data analyst told the high court in Pretoria that Khumalo, who was Meyiwa’s girlfriend, had received calls from a cellphone number linked to accused no 5, Sifisokuhle Ntuli, on two occasions.
It is alleged that Ntuli first contacted the singer on the 2nd of August 2014 and again on the 15th of October 2014, days before the football star was gunned down.
Chakela says while they believe that Khumalo is innocent, they must follow protocol.
In an email to YNews, the event organisers say: “We are legally obligated to safeguard our event, per the SASREA Act of 2010 and the related Event Safety And Security Planning Committee that is born out of it. More commonly known as Joc. This sets about very stringent safety protocols and requires we mitigate any potential risks, however unlikely. The potential media spectacle is one such risk. Secondly, it also affords Ms. Khumalo’s team the time to focus on the case.”
Kelly Khumalo’s manager refused to be drawn into the matter saying: “Morning, unfortunately that is to the organiser’s prerogative to comment. My artist was booked and not part of management.”
Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa