Royal Household gets clean audit

2013-10-22 00:00

THE Royal Household department has made history by finally obtaining an unqualified audit from the auditor-general.

The performance for the 2012/13 financial year was welcomed by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) when it sat on Friday.

A year ago, The Witness reported that officials of the department, which provides support services to King Goodwill Zwelithini and his family, were caught stealing from taxpayers.

A forensic report Scopa scrutinised at the time found that officials had bought groceries totalling R600 000 for personal use, claiming they were bought on behalf of the queens, and livestock vaccines and food for more than R26 000, but these were found to be not for the king’s cattle.

But, the department is not yet out of the woods. Investigations are under way into the fraudulent use of petrol cards by staff, and into department officials that trade with the department.

Appearing before Scopa, the department’s chief finance officer Percy Mthembu ascribed their performance to improving controls to avoid the perennial problems of previous years.

Mthembu said the department was also working closely with the Treasury to get its house in order.

The department’s fortunes were helped by the appointments of a chief finance officer and chief executive officer of the Royal Household Trust, which is geared to ultimately take over the provision of support to the royal family.

The KZN Gaming and Betting Board, and Amafa KwaZulu-Natal, both entities in the Office of the Premier, also obtained clean audit reports for 2012/13.

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