Mthethwa: 5 NAC members implicated in R300 million funding bungle

The money was meant to create employment and retain initiatives for artists and others in the cultural sector affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

FILE: Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has revealed that five National Arts Council (NAC) members have been implicated in the R300 million arts stimulus mismanagement.

The money was meant to create employment and retain initiatives for artists and others in the cultural sector affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Mthethwa has released the findings of a forensic investigation on Monday.

The council members have been implicated in a number of irregularities, including violating the Public Finance Management Act and maladministration.

Mthethwa said three of the officials were no longer employees of the council while two remained.

“They violated their own council meeting where they resolved that they would remain an oversight structure, but they didn’t do that. They went and became adjudicators and got paid for that.”

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The minister has given senior members of the National Arts Council implicated in the mismanagement of the R300 million stimulus package seven days to respond to the allegations against them.

Mthethwa said that he was also seeking legal advice on what action to take against the senior officials that were no longer employed by the council.

"I have instructed the NAC that as they implement the recommendations of the forensic audit firm, they must ensure that amongst others if there are funds which were given to people inappropriately, those funds must be recouped," Mthethwa said.

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