Misappropriation of Funds in the name of “Mandela’s” Funeral

The Below Article is in reference to the Story Published on The New Age News Website on Dec 5 2017

At a time when all of South Africa was remembering former president Nelson Mandela on his 4th death anniversary, it has been discovered that the Eastern Cape government amassed R330m of wasteful expenditure on his funeral, which also includes about R6m spent on transporting mourners. This can certainly be termed as a violation of the provisions of the constitution which has also been quoted by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane that several provincial government officials were involved in misuse of funds and the list includes the head of the department of provincial planning and treasury Marion Mbina-Mthembu.

Busisiwe Mkhwebane

As per Mkhwebane, “Mbina-Mthembu approved an irregular payment of public funds into the personal bank account of MEC Phumulo Masualle and subsequently the opening of a special departmental account which gave him access to public funds”. She further added that ,”Millions of rand of public funds earmarked for service delivery and social infrastructure development were used for a state funeral because of a lack of coordinated planning and non-compliance with the legislation”. It’s worth mentioning here that the public protector was asked to inspect the alleged misuse of funds by government and other state-owned entities. Moreover, she also released a report regarding the same yesterday and further asked the Eastern Cape provincial treasury to carry out an inquiry into this misappropriation of funds by Mbina-Mthembu and follow it up with the required action. She also asked four municipal managers to inquire the monetary misconduct of their officials. “An amount of R22m was paid for the procurement of goods and services for the funeral. These funds were meant for the provision of running water, electricity and sanitation”, she said.

She has suggested that the finance minister set up a task team consisting of all designated officials at all levels of the government to build up a coordinated plan for the contingency of state funerals. She further stated that the fraud case was being investigated by the Hawks.