Mandela funeral 'spending irregularities': Eastern Cape NPA provisionally withdraws charges

2019-05-10 18:18

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The acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Eastern Cape has provisionally withdrawn charges against all those accused of fraud relating to former president, Nelson Mandela’s funeral in 2013.

National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi has expressed serious concerns around the latest development.

In December 2017, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released a 333-page report into the misappropriation of public funds, improper conduct and maladministration by the provincial government and several other organs of state, including four municipalities, in connection with expenditure incurred for the funeral and memorial services.

The investigation found evidence of widespread irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the procurement of goods and services for the memorial and funeral. 

On Friday, acting DPP, advocate Indhrambal Goberdan announced that charges against all those accused had been provincially withdrawn at the East London Magistrates Court.

In a statement, the NPA confirmed the decision.

"The acting DPP came to the decision to provisionally withdraw the case as she does not anticipate that the cases will be ready to proceed on the scheduled date of the next appearance which were set down as May 13, 17 and 30," NPA head of communications Bulelwa Makeke said. 

The cases relate to the following matters:

 - State versus Ncitha and others 

- State versus Viswanathan Pillay

- State versus Mkolo and others

Makeke added, "Such pre-emptive action by the acting DPP to withdraw the cases at this stage, is to ensure that the integrity and merits of the cases are preserved until they are ready to be re-enrolled.

Makeke said Batohi has asked for an urgent report on the reason for the delays and what action will be taken to ensure that the matters are placed back on the roll as soon as possible. 

"This matter is one of the high profile matters on the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) list, which should have received priority.  She [Batohi] has ordered a full audit of cases on the original ACTT lists, to establish the status of these cases and to ensure that they are receiving the necessary attention, to avoid such occurrences on important cases," she said. 

Read more on:    npa  |  shamila batohi
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