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Mkhwebane finds R300m improperly spent on Mandela's funeral

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has released the findings of her investigation in Pretoria on Monday afternoon she says hundreds of millions of rand were improperly spent on the funeral.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane pictured on 4 December 2017. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Protector has found widespread maladministration and misappropriation of funds amounting to hundreds of millions of rands by the Eastern Cape provincial government in the funding of former president Nelson Mandela's funeral.

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has released the findings of her investigation in Pretoria on Monday afternoon.

Madiba died in December 2013 and was laid to rest in his hometown of Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

Mkhwebane says hundreds of millions of rands were improperly spent on the funeral.

“Whether the Eastern Cape provincial government improperly diverted public funds amounting to R300 million, the allegation is substantiated.”

She also says the funeral was poorly planned.

“There was no properly coordinated plan for all different role players in the funeral and related activities from the level of national, provincial and local government and public entities.

"Despite the fact that there were earlier discussions and a plan at a national level for the funeral of [former] president Mandela, it did not translate into advanced and coordinated planning in the Eastern Cape.”

PUBLIC PROTECTOR ORDERS

The Public Protector has ordered that President Jacob Zuma issue a proclamation for the Special Investigating Unit to investigate unlawful appropriation of funds and expenditure on Mandela’s funeral.

This was money was earned for social infrastructure development in the province.

Mkhwebane says the matter must now be referred to the Special Investigating Unit.

“To investigate the unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property.”

The advocate described the lack planning for the event as scary.

BLURRING OF LINES

The Public Protector has found there was a blurring of the lines between African National Congress (ANC) political considerations and government expenditure for the Mandela funeral.

Mkhwebane says government officials were taking instructions from and doing business with the ruling party.

“You will find a CFO not finding anything wrong about getting instructions from the ANC. There are invoices we are showing with letterheads from the ANC. And monies were paid but again services were not rendered.”

WATCH: Public Protector releases report on Mandela funeral

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