Gayton McKenzie on outcry after outing beneficiaries: ‘This is public money’

Department of Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Gayton McKenzie has hit back at critics after he outed artists and sportspeople who benefited from the Covi-19 relief programme.

As McKenzie promised earlier this week, the department published the list of beneficiaries on Wednesday. The list has over 3900 beneficiaries who received R72 million in total. and has been a hot topic on social media platforms.


Beneficiaries include artists Simphiwe Dana, Busiswa Gqulu, Kelly Khumalo, Arthur Mafokate and his son Arthur Junior as well as podcaster MacG, and actress Zikhona Sodlaka. You can view the full list of beneficiaries here.

After the department published the list, various beneficiaries took to social media to defend the payments saying there was nothing sinister; they applied for the relief and complied.

Afro-pop singer Zandile Khumalo-Gumede wrote on Instagram how disappointed with the department for releasing the list.

“It was just R20,000 for me that was obtained legally. A call for applications was issued by the dept of arts and culture for people who lost work and income during that dreadful and horrible time and we applied, complied and we were approved — well at least for me that’s how it went. I have a good mind we sue.”

When questioned about the purpose of publishing the list of beneficiaries McKenzie said they already have people who came forward that didn’t receive money nor applied but are listed as having received.

He added that there are people who are not aligned to the arts who received money, and there are people who are not from SA who also benefitted.

“We will not be deterred, this is not your money, this is not my money, this is public money and the public must know who got money from them. The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture must show that they were there for artist during the worst times and also expose those that misused the opportunity,” he wrote on X.


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