5 February 2013

South Africa: Hawks to Investigate R15.4 Million Spent On Legal Fees

press release

Today, 5 February 2013, the North West Provincial Legislature's Standing Committee on Provincial Public Accounts (SCOPA) has resolved to set up an investigation that will be led by the Hawks, the Public Protector's Office, the Public Service Commissioner and the Auditor-General's Office, to investigate the alleged misuse of state funds by the former MEC for Finance, Louisa Mabe, the current MEC, Paul Sebegoe, and the Acting Head of the Department of Finance, Geo Paul.

The three failed to give the committee a clear account of procurement processes followed in appointing Morake Attorneys, a company that has been paid over R15.4 million for a disciplinary hearing of the Department of Finance's suspended head, Johannes Mohlala, the the Chief Financial Officer, Harriet Kasirivu and the Chief Director, Peter Mogoane.

The committee felt that there is a need to investigate this as public money has been spent and yet those involved have failed to account for it. The Hawks will be focusing on the criminal nature of the case and if the outcome shows that indeed state funds have been misused, the committee will also look at ways of recovering that money.

We expect that the committee will be furnished with a preliminary report of the investigation within 30 days and after that the committee will sanction action that has to be taken. The Department of Finance is responsible for a budget of R26 billion and of that, R10 billion is with the Department of Education, which the former MEC for Finance, Louisa Mabe is responsible for. All these monies have to account for as it is public funds.

People of the North West, in fact all South Africans must know that there is accountability in this province.

Issued by: North West Provincial Legislature

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