South Africa: Artists' Strife - Nathi Mthethwa Apologises for Tweet That Prompted Petition for Him to Leave the Stage

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An artists' petition calls for Minister Nathi Mthethwa's head after claims of continued failings in his portfolio and ignorance displayed in a tweet about the state of the South African theatre industry. Mthethwa's tweet was subsequently deleted and he apologised on Thursday. But artists say the issues remain, and calls for the Minister's removal will not be withdrawn.

Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has come under fire once again, after a tweet on Friday, 15 January claiming "South African theatre is alive and well", received immediate backlash from a number of South African artists, arts organisations and members of the theatre and dance sector. Since then, a petition titled #NathiMustGo, created and signed by members of the South African arts industry, requesting his resignation by 31 January 2021, or his replacement by February 2021, has begun circulating on social media.

On Thursday morning, Mthethwa issued a media statement apologising for the "offensive tweet", which members of the broader SA arts community accepted, but who remained steadfast on their long-standing calls for the minister to resign.

According to the media statement, the "Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture wishes to convey his heartfelt remorse for the tweet regarding...

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