Reports: First Lady embroiled in Madiba memorial corruption scandal

The Sunday Times says Jacob Zuma’s wife Ntuli-Zuma was part of those that benefited from the tender.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma accompanied by his wife MaNtuli arrive at Sanya Phoenix International Airport in China. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - It's now emerged that millions of rands in public funds paid out for the memorial service of Nelson Mandela were carelessly spent on luxury cars, jewellery, high-end clothing and gifts for one of President Jacob Zuma's wives Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma.

The Sunday Times is reporting that politically connected businessman Mabheleni Ntuli was paid R18 million by an events management company owned by Carol Bouwer who enlisted Ntuli as a subcontractor to supply infrastructure for Madiba's memorial services across Mpumalanga.

Bouwer's company was paid R39 million by the Mpumalanga provincial government as the main contractor to organise the services.

The paper says it's investigated the money trail, which it says shows that some of the money paid to businessman, was later transferred into the bank account of Zuma's wife Ntuli-Zuma.

The businessman allegedly spent more than R400,000 at jewellery retailer Arthur Kaplan and R42,000 at a Louis Vuitton store.

He then made a R55,000 payment to MaNtuli on 31 December 2013.

It's understood the Hawks are investigating a case of fraud and corruption related to tenders awarded by the Mpumalanga government for Mandela's memorial services.

National Treasury lodged a complaint related to how Bouwer's company was appointed without any tender processes being followed.