Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has assured the North West community of Bapo Ba Mogale that final reports on the disappearance of its communal fund (over R600 million) will be made known by the end of the year.
Madonsela related this to the embittered community on Saturday while delivering a preliminary investigation report on the matter. The endearing advocate, however, promised members of the community that she would release an exit report by October 14 and then the final report in December.
An investigation into the community’s missing fund was launched four years ago. In 2012, Bapo community approached Madonsela to probe allegations of systematic looting of its collective resources.
She was also requested to investigate missing funds held in its “D-account”. This unique account held royalties paid by mining companies to communities on whose ancestral land miners work.
Lastly, the community asked Madonsela to dig deep and determine if mining company Lonmin and other mining companies paid royalties due to it. Not long after, the Public Protector moved into action.
Previous Report On Missing Fund In Bapo Ba Mogale
In July, when the Public Protector held a meeting with the community; Madonsela disclosed in a report that in 1994 – when the communal fund account was audited, it had R721, 000. And that over a period of 20 years, the money grew to over R617 million – which was made up of R392 million in deposits and R224 million in interest earned.
She said although the community abandoned the account for a newer account in 2014; the sum of R40 million in royalties was paid into the account. However, Madonsela added that a subsequent investigation into the fund found that all the money earned had gone missing.
Nevertheless, speaking on Saturday, the Public Protector called on Bapo Ba Mogale community to remain calm and peaceful as her investigation team has identified some sitting officials and companies to whom payments were made from the communal fund. She also vowed to bring all of them to book.
She said her office has employed forensic investigator Godfrey Rangongo and quantity surveyor Andre Moolman; who would act fairly in the verification and determination of how the perpetrators looted the communal fund.