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DA says Provincial Government is entirely responsible for Mandela Funeral Funds scandal

Dec 13, 2017
DA says Provincial Government is entirely responsible for Mandela Funeral Funds scandal

While the ANC-led Eastern Cape Provincial Government is within its rights to seek a legal review of the Mandela Funeral Report by the Public Protector, the provincial government should be focussing its energies around what action it will be taking in regard to the issues raised in the report that have been well-exposed in this province since 2014, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape said on Wednesday.

"What is your clean-up action plan, Mr Premier?   

"Even though all fingers are correctly pointed at the Eastern Cape Director-General (DG), Marion Mbina-Mthembu, in relation to her role in the scandal, this cannot obscure the role of the provincial cabinet and particularly the current Premier and then MEC for Finance, Phumulo Masualle. All these irregularities happened on his watch and he should be held fully accountable," said Bobby Stevenson - Leader of the DA in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature.

Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, on Monday last week,recommended that President Jacob Zuma authorises the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to investigate the irregular or negligent expenditure of R300 million during former president, Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

On Monday, DA National Spokesperson¸ Refiloe Nt’sekhe, gave a statement to the SAPS and submitted the Public Protector’s report in order to supplement charges which are under investigation by the Hawks.

"When the DA vigorously attacked Masualle’s role in this scandal in the provincial legislature back in 2014, the ANC all closed ranks to protect him. Athol Trollip, the then DA leader in the legislature, was suspended from the legislature for 30 days. The DA went to court and in a settlement, this decision was overturned," Stevenson said. 

"Earlier this week, I submitted legislature questions in order to find answers as to what the provincial government has done since 2014 to deal with the persons responsible for the irregularities. For my questions, click here

"I have today written to the Speaker of the Legislature, Noxolo Kiviet, requesting that the Public Protector’s report that has been referred to her, be referred to the Standing Committee of Public Accounts (Scopa) to deal with."

For the letter, click here.

"The DA is of the strong view that the politicians that were involved in approving the method of funding in this scandal should be held accountable. The DG alone cannot be made the scapegoat. This report is not just an indictment on her, but the whole provincial cabinet who took the decision on 6 December 2013 to approve the funding model for the funeral," Stevenson added. 

"The ANC this week in a very vague response to the scandal suggested that the DG take voluntary leave.  Why the deafening silence when it comes to the role of the politicians involved in this? 

"All those implicated in this scandal that has robbed the people of the Eastern Cape must face the full might of the law."

He said that the new oppression that is destroying the Eastern Cape is corruption and unemployment "and it is the ANC government that is fully responsible for it".

Last week Wednesday, the DA in the Eastern Cape said that the Mandela Funeral Funds saga had brought shame upon the ANC while the ANC in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday called on Eastern Cape Premier, Phumulo Masualle, and state agencies to take action on the findings

Meanwhile, the ANC in the Eastern Cape Legislature said that it has noted the findings and wil release a statement on its recommendations soon.

At its PEC meeting on Monday, the ANC in the Eastern Cape said that individuals implicated in Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane's, Mandela Funeral report should be held individually liable and the good name of the ANC should not be dragged into the matter.