national Arts Festival Banner

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Market Theatre closes one chapter and turns a new page…

The Council of the Market Theatre Foundation (MTF) is pleased to announce that the five staff members who were subject to disciplinary hearings, following a forensic investigation report by Morar & Inc commissioned by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, were all found not guilty on all counts. The charges, which included allegations of racism, nepotism and graft were found to have no substance in a process overseen by independent prosecutors and presiding officers. The hearings of the CEO, Ismail Mahomed and CFO, Christine McDonald were referred by them to the CCMA in terms of section 188A of the Labour Relations Act.

“The process that unfolded was unfortunate and painful. However, we are pleased that our integrity, reputations and commitment to the arts, creative and cultural sector has emerged intact and that together with the staff and the Council of the MTF we are able to close this unfortunate chapter in the history of the MTF and continue to honour the legacy of our institution,” said CEO of the MTF, Ismail Mahomed.

The Council regrets the impact these allegations and the processes that followed had on Ismail Mahomed (CEO), Christine McDonald (CFO), Perpetua Mathsa (HR Manager), Zama Buthelezi (Brand and Marketing Manager) and Lusanda Zokufa (Senior Publicist) in both their professional and personal lives and on their families. The Council has also withdrawn a written warning issued to the HR Manager, Perpetua Mathsa, following a review of the hearing outcome.

The hearings found no proof of nepotism by the CEO as reported in the Mail and Guardian in which former staff member Yusrah Bardien was implicated, no proof of racism by the CEO as reported in The Sowetan and no proof of R100 million graft by the CFO as reported in The Star.

As an organisation this process led to an environment in which we lost a number of talented staff including Yusrah Bardien which was regrettable. Whilst the Market Theatre Foundation supports and encourages a free press the Market Theatre Foundation recognises the need for responsible journalism which is grounded on ethical reporting.

The Chairperson of the MTF Council, Gerald Themba Dumas, is satisfied that the process has been completed and thanks all the staff members of the Market Theatre Foundation for their diligence and for always putting the institution first even during this difficult period with the MTF scooping several awards, accolades and international partnerships during this period.

“The Council affirms its confidence in the CEO and CFO of the Market Theatre Foundation. Throughout this difficult period the entire staff of the Market Theatre Foundation, continued to serve their significant roles and maintained our position as a leading arts and culture institution in South Africa, and continued to make huge strides internationally”, added Dumas.

The Market Theatre Foundation is a legislated entity in terms of the Cultural Institutions Act No 119 of 1998. With more than 300 awards for artistic excellence and 3 awards for human rights that have been won over more than 4 decades the Market Theatre Foundation is critically reflective and celebratory of its past, anchored to the opportunities and the challenges of the present and visionary about the future. The Foundation comprises of the Market Theatre complex, Market Theatre Laboratory, Market Photo Workshop and the Windybrow Arts Centre.

Issued on behalf of the Council of the Market Theatre Foundation
Gerald Themba Dumas, Chairperson
Council of the Market Theatre Foundation

For more information visit