Northern Cape government apologises for replicating authors’ books | The Citizen

The Northern Cape government has apologised to two authors – Sabata-mpho Mokae and Mohale Mashigo – after their novels were photocopied at the provincial department of sports, arts and culture, with the intention of entering the books in a national competition, without their permission.

The department has taken full responsibility for photocopying Mokae’s best-selling novel Moletlo Wa Manong and Mashigo’s The Yearning, which were to be entered in the upcoming Funda Mzansi national book club competition to be held in George next month.

The apology comes amid a warning by Denise Nicholson, a communications and copyright consultant with Scholarly Horizons, that the action amounted to copyright infringement, or intellectual property theft.

According to the department’s provincial spokesperson, Conrad Fortune, MEC Berenice Sinexve was “in the process of reaching out to both authors and their respective publishers, to apologise in person and also to see how best we can address the contravention in an amicable manner”.

The department, said Fortune, would institute an internal investigation on the matter “in order to be provided with a comprehensive report”.

“All this was done to assist a book club in Jan Kempdorp, in preparation for the book club competition,” said Fortune. “The MEC is disappointed that of the books were made without the authors’ permission.

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