NEWS

ANC Summons Eastern Cape Mayors Over Mandela Funeral Fraud

It emerged that the Eastern Cape government had no plans in place for the funeral, and scrambled to plan one when Mandela died in 2013.

08/12/2017 06:36 SAST | Updated 08/12/2017 06:36 SAST
Mark Wessells / Reuters
A man holds a tribute photograph as he watches the funeral service for former South African President Nelson Mandela on a large screen television in Cape Town, December 15, 2013.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape has summoned premier Phumulo Masualle and four mayors to appear before the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) to explain the Nelson Mandela funeral funds scandal, Business Day reported on Friday.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released her report into the funeral saga on Monday. She revealed that greed, corruption and poor planning of the funeral by the Eastern Cape government resulted in the wastage of over R300-million.

It emerged that the Eastern Cape government had no plans in place for the funeral, and scrambled to plan one when Mandela died in 2013, treating the funeral as an emergency. There also appeared to be wide-scale fraud with invoices submitted for services not delivered.

Money for the eradication of mud schools and upgrading hospitals was diverted to buy T-shirts and to pay for catering for the funeral.

Masualle and officials from the Buffalo City metro, the OR Tambo district municipality and the King Sabata Dalindyebo local municipality were reportedly implicated in the report. The mayors from those municipalities were reportedly summoned, and more officials could be next.

ANC provincial secretary Lulama Ngcukaitobi confirmed this to Business Day on the sidelines of the provincial general council on Thursday.

"That is where we will get the comprehensive response to the Nelson Mandela funeral scandal. Premier Masualle will be part of that meeting so he can give us his perspective‚" said Ngcukaitobi.

On Tuesday, Masualle told City Press that his conscience was clean and that all the funeral money was accounted for.

Mkhwebane found that R250,000 was transferred to Masualle's bank account, but that this was not through his own fault and that the money was paid back.

"I think the department... in the absence of a departmental credit card, because usually these are things you would do with a credit card basically... But in the absence of that they thought of making an arrangement. An arrangement unfortunately that went wrong, in that, firstly it went into my bank account which I immediately said, no, no. It does not look good this way because certainly it tends to have other connotations, I had from that time made sure that every amount, every cent that was spent of that money was to be accounted for fully and a full report given back to the department. Indeed that was done. Of that R250,000 only an amount of R5,000 was spent and that R5,000 was accounted for in full and the rest of the money was returned back to the department," he said.