No mercy for criminals during Macufe, says SAPS

The arts and crafts market of Macufe. PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

Anyone who breaks the law during the popular Mangaung African Cultural Festival (Macufe), which is underway in the City of Roses this week and ends on Sunday, should not expect any mercy from the South African Police Services.

According to spokesperson Thabo Covane police will take a no-nonsense approach towards criminals. Bloemfontein residents can expect more police visibility during this time as policemen and -women will be patrolling on foot, in vehicles and on horseback.
“Law enforcements agencies have come together to ensure that everybody and their property is safe and secure during this period,” he said.

Covane mentioned the prevalence of vehicle-related thefts in the city according to the recent Statistics South Africa report. “Everyone can contribute to an incident-free Macufe and visitors are encouraged to park vehicles where there is enough light and to not leave valuables where they can be seen,” he said.

Macufe is 21 years old and brings about 180 000 people to the City of Roses annually. This year’s headlining act is award-winning American singer, Brandy, who will be performing at Macufe’s main event. Locals and visitors alike can also look forward to popular shows for jazz, hip hop, gospel and comedy, with acts that include Joe, Oliver Mtukudzi and Joey Rasdien.

Bloemfontein Courant has previously reported that the festival is a major local affair with 70% of the service providers involved coming from the Free State so as to positively impact the local economy.

However, a change in dates may have affected some aspects of the festival, with accommodation bookings at a decline. Protea Hotel Willow Lake’s front office manager, Michael Mashile, said that changes have affected visits.

“Macufe used to take place mainly during school holidays but now with the shift in dates we do not see the visitors we used to have and the numbers are not as high.” He also stated that more obvious changes have taken place this year. – Nomaqhawe Mtebele