Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane reports on the expenditure incurred in the preparation for the funeral of the late former president Nelson Mandela.
In her report, advocate Mkhwebane said hundreds of millions of rand were improperly spent on the funeral.
She said she found a widespread maladministration and misappropriation of funds amounting to over R300 million by the Eastern Cape provincial government in the funding of former president Nelson Mandela’s funeral.
Tuesday, December 5 marks exactly four years since Madiba passed away. Madiba died in December 2013 and was laid to rest in his hometown of Qunu in the Eastern Cape.
Mkhwebane reports that not only was million of rands were improperly spent on the funeral, the funeral was also not properly organised.
“Whether the Eastern Cape provincial government improperly diverted public funds amounting to R300 million, the allegation is substantiated, ” she said,
“There was no properly coordinated plan for all different role players in the funeral and related activities from the level of national, provincial and local government and public entities.
“Despite the fact that there were earlier discussions and a plan at a national level for the funeral of [former] president Mandela, it did not translate into advanced and coordinated planning in the Eastern Cape.”
She, therefore, ordered that President Jacob Zuma issue a proclamation for the Special Investigating Unit to investigate the unlawful appropriation of funds and expenditure on Mandela’s funeral.
This money was earned for social infrastructure development in the province, Mkhwebane said, adding that the matter must now be referred to the Special Investigating Unit.
“To investigate the unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property.”
Furthermore, Mkhwebane reports that various Eastern Cape municipalities allegedly spent nearly R65m without following proper procurement procedures.
This report was in line with that of the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s announcement in 2016 where she revealed that her office was investigating allegations of maladministration, corruption and misuse of public funds relating to the procurement of service providers for the former statesman’s memorial services and funeral.
The report in May 2016 revealed that R22m was used for T-shirts, food and transport.
The African National Congress (ANC) has, however, denied that government funds were misused during the veteran’s burial ceremony.
Meanwhile, the Nelson Mandela Foundation will mark the veteran’s death by unveiling an exhibition, called Unthreading Mandela, in his honour.
The foundation’s Sello Hatang said that the day is significant for the foundation because it would be launching the centenary programme. “We are saying to South Africa and the world that all of us should do something to help grow the legacy of Nelson Mandela from 5 December 2017 to 5 December 2018,” Hatang said.