Hawks probing theft from Mandela burial funds

2014-04-07 19:10
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Cape Town - The Hawks are investigating reports that the girlfriend of an Eastern Cape ANC official received R350 000 from funds earmarked for the burial of former president Nelson Mandela.

"We are investigating the issue, and are busy with the probe," Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko told News24 on Monday.

He added that no new arrests have been made.

The Saturday Dispatch reported that the political woes of ANC regional secretary of the Buffalo City Metro, Pumlani Mkolo, continue to mount after the allegation that his girlfriend - a high-flying Johannesburg-based lawyer – received the funds.

According to the newspaper, the funds formed part of a R5.9m contract awarded to a company owned by Eastern Cape taxi boss Mzwandile Sokwali to transport mourners to Mandela memorial services in and around the metro.

The Eastern Cape government spent more than R100m on events relating to the former president's funeral, but not all of it was apparently used for what it was meant for.

The Dispatchearlier reported that Sokwali transferred R100 000 into the account of Mkolo's ex-girlfriend. Other funds ended up in bank accounts of people close to Mkolo. An East London company was paid R1.38m for T-shirts for mourners.

The newspaper established that Mkolo's girlfriend is linked to the Lily Rose Trust, which received R350 000 on 18 December 2013.

The link was confirmed by the Master of the South Gauteng High Court.

The revelation comes just two weeks after Sokwali and his wife were arrested by the Hawks in connection with the funds paid to their company. They are both out on bail of R10 000.

The Hawks say that all those who were paid money by the company will be investigated.

Read more on:    anc  |  nelson mandela  |  east london  |  government spending  |  corruption

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