Transport companies for Madikizela-Mandela memorial say they've been fully paid, despite PP report

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane
PHOTO: Jan Gerber, News24
  • Transport providers for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's memorial service claim they have been fully paid.
  • The R1.1 million contract is at the centre of a Public Protector report.
  • Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane and Public Works MEC Babalo Madikizela have been implicated in the report.

Transport providers for the 2018 memorial service of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela claim they have received full payment for their services despite a Public Protector report finding top Eastern Cape government officials benefitted from the contract.

The roughly R1.1 million was at the centre of a Public Protector report, which found that Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane and Public Works MEC Babalo Madikizela unduly benefitted from funds intended for the memorial service.

The money was transferred from the Eastern Cape government to the Mbizana Local Municipality. It was intended to help fund transport for members of the public to the memorial service.

READ | Public Protector hits back at ANC Eastern Cape over timing of release of damning report

In a statement, Mbizana Transport Operators said they had reached an agreement with Maikenjo Trading CC, the company initially awarded the transport contract by the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture.

"We are the only legally permitted transport providers. We have licences for different transport routes. We, therefore, don't see a need for anyone else to transport people that we are licensed to transport. The transport sector bitterly questioned why this service was awarded to someone from Matatiele as opposed to local providers," the organisation said in a statement.

After several meetings with Maikenjo Trading, it was agreed that Mbizana would provide transport.

The statement read:

We thereafter resolved that our payment for the service be claimed on our behalf through KOO Construction and Projects, a company owned by one of our members, Mr Zolile Mngqongwa. Maikenjo Trading CC agreed and even wrote a letter to the municipality confirming that payment must be made in favour of KOO Construction and Projects.

The organisation said it had received the full payment of R1.1 million on 24 May 2018, and the money was divided among its members who provided transport services.

"We don't have any complaint of non-payment," the organisation said.

The Public Protector report found that Mabuyane allegedly benefitted from R450 000, which was reportedly used to pay for upgrades to his East London home. Madikizela allegedly received R350 000. The ANC in the province was said to have been paid R288 000.

ALSO READ | Eastern Cape EFF opens corruption case against Premier Oscar Mabuyane, Babalo Madikizela

A criminal case has since been opened against Mabuyane and Madikizela.

Mabuyane intended to head to court to challenge the report, News24 previously reported. Madikizela flatly denied any wrongdoing, saying he was disturbed and shocked by the report.

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