Mandela Foundation 'horrified' by Mkhwebane’s finding on Madiba’s funeral

The foundation says the findings couldn't have come at a better time as Tuesday marks exactly four years since Nelson Mandela's passing.

Nelson Mandela's casket is carried by military and police members on a gun carriage during his funeral service in Qunu, Eastern Cape, on 15 December 2013. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The Nelson Mandela Foundation says it’s horrified after the Public Protector found hundreds of millions of rands meant for planning the late former statesman's funeral were misappropriated.

She found widespread maladministration and misappropriation of funds amounting to R300 million by the Eastern Cape provincial government in funding Madiba’s 2013 funeral.

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane released the findings of her investigation on Monday.

The Public Protector's report also reveals there was no plan in place for the funeral.

The foundation says the findings couldn't have come at a better time as Tuesday marks exactly four years since Madiba’s passing.

Mkhwebane says the transportation of mourners and purchasing of food are just two of the major improper costs incurred for the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela.

The Public Protector says the funeral was poorly planned and lacked co-ordination.

“Especially in the Buffalo City Municipality, they spent more than R5.9 [million] on transportation of mourners. They spent more than R700,000 on KFC and McDonald's for the marshals and some workers.”

The Nelson Mandela Foundation's Sello Hatang says while the findings are worrying, he says they're not surprised.

"The allegations were made as far back as 2014 about the corruption that happened around Madiba's funeral."

Hatang says what is most disturbing is the provincial government's apparent lack of moral fibre.

"That we cannot even respect even the most basic of things such as a funeral, we then want to make money out of it."

Tuesday marks exactly four years since Madiba’s passing. He died at the age of 95 after battling a recurring lung infection.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation will mark the day by unveiling an exhibition in his honour.

Additional reporting by Lauren Isaacs.