West London All Stars have taken the 2023 champion title in the Hollywoodbets Cape Town Street Parade Section 1 final.
The section 1 final took place on Saturday January 28 at Athlone Stadium.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Baruch Entertainers were announced winners, placing West London All Stars second and Juvie Boys third place but questions regarding the competition category scoring and calculations did not add up for supporters.
Following this matter, the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association (KKKA) requested a formal meeting with the judges on the evening of Monday January 30.
Muneeb Gambeno, director of the KKKA, said: “It became apparent to us and the patrons that there was a discrepancy in the results announced on Sunday morning. Upon review of the workings of the judges, they discovered an input error into the preset formula, which led to the miscalculation of the final scores for the overall winner placements.”
Adjudication co-ordinator, Mariska April, said: “Upon a request from the KKKA Board following the announcement of Section 1 final results, the adjudication team was asked to relook and recalculate the results.”
According to the KKKA, the formula and score sheet has been rectified by the adjudication team in the presence of the KKKA Board and the corrected final results for overall points scored are as follows: 1st place West London All Stars, 2nd place Juvie Boys and 3rd place Baruch Entertainers.
The KKKA acknowledges that errors can occur and plans to appoint an independent auditor to verify results.
Mr Gambeno said: “There are valuable lessons in this experience, but most significantly the error has highlighted the independence of our judges in that there is no interference in the adjudication process.”
Mr Gambeno also thanked troupe leaders affected by the error. “We have absolute faith in the integrity of the adjudication process and we want to thank the judges and the affected troupe leaders for the dignified and professional manner in which this error was resolved. We also thank the patrons and all supporters for their understanding in this matter.”
It’s understood that the adjudication team has since formally apologised to the KKKA Board, the owners, directors and all parties and stakeholders affected for the calculation error leading to the incorrect placement of the overall winners.
Ms April said: “A very specific and pointed apology goes to the owners and representatives of West London All Stars, Juvie Boys and Baruch Entertainers for whom the change in end result has the biggest impact.”
Baruch Entertainers troupe owner Claude Jonas said: “On behalf of Baruch organisation and directors, this is a competition and cultural sport, yes it’s been marred by controversy because of error as it’s been explained. Having experienced the moment on the day, pronounced champions is something that will stick but leaves a bitter taste having to end this way. There might be disappointment from our members but at the end of the day the judges’ decisions are final.
“We as Baruch are not about the trophy, we are about the development of youth, community, and about bringing people together. It’s about delivering a product and expanding the footprint and brand. It’s the one event that brings our people together.”
Mr Jonas also thanked the participating teams: “We take the defeat as gracefully as we take victory… at the end of it all the culture has to win.
“We congratulate the teams on their achievements, West London All Stars, Juvie Boys Entertainers as well as Fabulous Woodstock Starlights, Cape Town Hawkers and Manenberg Superstars. A special thanks to all Baruch directors and members for all their commitment and effort.”
West London All Stars troupe owner Waleed Hendricks, who is now the 2023 section 1 winner, said: “We are very happy with the final results but I feel our members and supporters were robbed of their moment of joy that they will never get back again. All our hard work and sacrifice have paid off and that’s why we will be celebrating like the champions that we are on Saturday. It won’t be the same but we will make the most of it.”
Social media groups are flooded with messages and posts of mixed feelings, some calling for auditors for results, others calling for judging criteria and rules to be made public. Messages of support also surfaced for both troupes and its owners after the mishap and words of encouragement for the year ahead and upcoming preparations for future competitions.
Section 2 troupes are expected to take the stage on Saturday February 4 in the categories, Group Song, Coon Song, Best Band and Juvenile Combine.
Tickets for this weekend’s festivities are currently on sale, from R30 at Computicket, and the KKKA has made provision for additional scanners for all tickets.
This week there will be three access points at Athlone Stadium, which the public can access via entrances P1, P2 and P6.
Gates open at 11.30am on Saturday.