‘Webgate’ firm gets R1.6m in ads from Free State government – DA

2013-03-11 15:47

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The Free State provincial government has allegedly spent an estimated R1.6 million in the past three months on advertisements in The Weekly, a newspaper owned by Letlaka Media – the company that was awarded the multimillion-rand website contract from the office of Premier Ace Magashule.

This was revealed by the DA in the province today. According to a report by JGL Forensic Services, The Weekly is funded almost exclusively by the provincial government. The JGL report was commissioned by the National Treasury.

Read our story on the report.

The free pro-government newspaper claims it has 100 000 readers, but this figure has not been audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulations in SA. The paper claims to have a print order of 20 000 copies and charges R37 118 for a full-page advertisement.

Provincial DA leader Patricia Kopane said Magashule was “using government’s alleged marketing contracts to channel millions of public funds to Letlaka Media”.

She said “in exchange for this enrichment” the company was selling Magashule and his faction’s image to the public “in a time of service delivery collapse in the Free State”.

Kopane said she would write to the Public Protector to investigate the matter.

The spokesperson of the premier’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.

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