South Africa: No Action Taken Yet Following PP's Report Into Mandela Memorials in Mpumalanga

Action has yet to be taken against two people singled out in Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report into the memorial services held in Mpumalanga for late former president Nelson Mandela.

In May 2019, Mkhwebane found the R70m that the Mpumalanga government had spent on the services in December 2013 was "immoral and unreasonable".

The money was used to host several events and prayer sessions all over the province.

Mkhwebane found that not only should disciplinary steps be taken against the former director general of the province, Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize, and a senior official in the premier's office, July Dlamini, but the case should also be referred to the Hawks for investigation.

Mkhize is currently the director general for KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

Irregular appointment

The Public Protector found the appointment of Carol Bouwer Productions, which was tasked to arrange five events, was irregular.

The company was paid R40m but only three events were held instead of the requested five.

Mkhwebane found Mkhize had transgressed various regulations.

These are:

· She did not follow the normal route to pay suppliers through the LOGIS and BAS systems of the government but instead gave written instructions to the bank to directly to pay the funds;

· She failed to report the matter to the provincial Treasury and Auditor-General;

· Mkhize approved a further payment of R4.5m to Bouwer but there was no documentation indicating what the money was spent on.

Sibongile Mpolweni, the spokesperson for Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane, said the premier's office had informed the office of Sihle Zikalala, the premier of KZN, about the findings.

Despite the publication of the Public Protector's report three months ago, it has still not been tabled before any of the provincial standing committees or the Mpumalanga legislature.

Mpolweni could not say when the report would be tabled.

News24

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