Mthethwa wants improperly disbursed COVID relief funds for artists recouped

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Monday released results of a forensic investigation into how the R300 million Presidential Employment Stimulus package earmarked for those in the creative sector was irregularly distributed.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said that all COVID-19 relief funds meant for artists that were disbursed improperly must be recouped.

Mthethwa on Monday released results of a forensic investigation into how the R300 million Presidential Employment Stimulus package earmarked for those in the creative sector was irregularly distributed.

The report found a number of irregularities, including that some applicants received more money than they had applied for.

The forensic investigation into the mismanagement of funds meant for artists has put five former and current senior officials at the National Arts Council at the centre of the scandal.

Minister Mthethwa said that the officials had been implicated in a number of irregularities.

"They violated the National Arts Council Act, they violated their own council meeting where they resolved that will remain an oversight structure," the minister said.

He said that his department would ensure that all those identified in the investigation were held to account.

"We will get to the bottom of this and those who are found on the wrong side of this will face the full might of justice," Mthethwa said.

According to the National Arts Council, R272 million of the R285 million meant for artists had so for been awarded to beneficiaries and with plans under way to distribute the remaining R13 million.

WATCH: ‘Some NAC members were not supposed to adjudicate art relief funds’ - Mthethwa

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