Eastern Cape in Madiba memorial scandal

2014-03-19 10:08
Ahmed Kathrada speaks at Nelson Mandela's funeral in Qunu. (File, AFP)

Ahmed Kathrada speaks at Nelson Mandela's funeral in Qunu. (File, AFP)

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Cape Town - The Eastern Cape provincial government has again found itself in the midst of controversy with a report stating that it allegedly spent millions of rands meant for much-needed social development on matters connected to former president Nelson Mandela's memorial services.

A bill that is set to swell from R22m to R90m includes millions spent on T-shirts bearing the icon’s face and hundreds of thousands of rands to cover food costs for KFC and McDonalds, the Daily Dispatch wrote in an exclusive report.

The spending went against Treasury regulations stipulating that taxpayer funds be used only on transport and booking venues.

King Sabatha Dalindyebo municipality received R199 000 for grass-cutting while R250 000 was spent on a sound truck, R100 000 on a gospel choir at the service in Port Elizabeth, R600 000 on promotional material and R1.9m on a sound system, the Dispatch reported.

Employees’ salaries spent on memorial services - report

This follows a weekend article by City Press stating that Mpumalanga’s government had shifted R70m from six of its departments’ service delivery budgets to cover employees’ salaries after spending the money on provincial memorial services for Mandela.

City Press said it has copies of bank statements that show R39.8m of this was paid to celebrity event planner Carol Bouwer in the space of a week.

The company did not tender for the job - and the provincial government did not solicit quotes from any other event firms.

Three ANC legislature members who spoke on condition of anonymity told the newspaper that the cost of six memorial services held around the province emptied the coffers of Premier David Mabuza’s office and there were fears that salaries would go unpaid.

Business Day also reported in January that the deployment of an estimated 11 894 members of the SA National Defence Force during the mourning period for Mandela between 6 December and 20 December was expected to have cost R122m.

Days after Mandela’s death on 5 December, the City of Cape Town announced that it had approved an estimated operating budget of R72m for events honouring the former statesman, the Mail & Guardian reported.
Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  david mabuza  |  government spending

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