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DA welcomes ruling on Mkhwebane's Mandela Funeral Scandal findings

Mar 11, 2019
DA welcomes ruling on Mkhwebane's Mandela Funeral Scandal findings

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape over the weekend said that it welcomes the judgement by the Eastern Cape High Court to dismiss an application to set aside findings by the Public Protector, Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, regarding the R330 million Nelson Mandela Funeral Scandal.

The late statesman and global icon, fondly known as Madiba, died on 5 December 2013 after suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection. 

Mandela's body lay in state from 11 to 13 December at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and a state funeral was held on 15 December in his rural home of Qunu, outside Mthatha.

Allegations surfaced after the funeral of how public funds were abused during the course of the funeral, leading to an investigation by the office of the Public Protector.

Consequently, Advocate Mkhwebane released her Madiba Funeral report at the the Public Protector offices in December 2017, which found that indeed around R300 million was misappropriated during the funeral.

Application to have Mkwebane's findings on Mandela Funeral funds saga to be set aside

An application was lodged by Eastern Cape provincial government Director-General, Ms. Marion Mbina-Mthembu, to have the findings regarding the looting of state funds for the funeral and memorial service of the late former President Nelson Mandela set aside.

The application was dismissed on Thursday by the Eastern High Court.

"The Mandela Funeral Report by the Public Protector investigates allegations of the misappropriation of public funds to the value of R330 million and improper conduct and maladministration, by among others, the Eastern Cape Provincial Government," said Nqaba Bhanga, DA Eastern Cape leader.

In December 2017 the DA laid criminal charges against Mbina-Mthembu and other implicated officials at the East London Police Station and will now be seeking an update on the investigation.

"During Ms Mbina-Mthembu’s tenure as Head of the Provincial Treasury she violated the Constitution, Treasury Regulations as well as the Public Finance Management Finance Act (PFMA) by authorising decisions that are described as 'irrational' and 'unlawful'," Bhanga said.

"The Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities empowers the SAPS to investigate the most severe forms of corruption and it must do so.

"A DA government will fight corruption and anyone found guilty of corruption will be sentenced to 15 years in jail."

He said that DA’s plan to fight corruption is simple:

  • Establishing an independent unit dedicated to identifying, fighting and prosecuting corruption.
  • Ensuring the payment of all public money is transparent.
  • Bringing in direct elections for all political office holders so that the South African people can hold their president, premiers and mayors directly accountable.
  • Implementing regular lifestyle audits for all politicians and government officials.
  • Protecting and encouraging ‘whistleblowers’ who identify and report on corrupt activities.

"The actions of the ANC Government in the Eastern Cape shows that the ANC will steal at any cost, even if it undermines Mandela’s name and legacy."

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