The Democratic Alliance (DA) says on Sunday it welcomes confirmation by Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe fraud and misappropriation of R3 million to turn dilapidated Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s Brandfort, Free State house into a museum.
This came after DA wrote to the SIU on the April 12, 2018 asking for the unit to probe the allegations.
The money was distributed by the Department of Arts and Culture to the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation for the project.
It is allege over the last decade, a greater amount of R11 million was budgeted at various times by the provincial and national departments which R3 million was shown to be costs to date.
This is according to feedback received from the Public Protector. However nothing can be shown for these costs.
DA Free State Provincial Leader Patricia Kopane said former Free State Premier, Ace Magashule, has more than once denied that funds distributed for this project were misused, now this report contradicts his comments.
“On Friday I met with the SIU Free State Provincial Head, Bulumko Stemele who acknowledged the receipt of the DA’s complaint, clarified the procedure that should be followed. He was certain this issue falls within their jurisdiction,” said Kopane.
She said DA needs the SIU to thoroughly investigate this, saying both officials and politicians responsible should account.
Kopane said this is an important project that holds tourism and job opportunities for the benefit of the Masilonyana community.
The DA will continue to hold those responsible to account in honour of the late Mama Winnie and the people of Brandfort.
“On July 18, 2012, the department went into a tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation (DSACR) and the Independent Development Trust (IDT) to facilitate the completion of Winnie Mandela’s home in Brandfort,” said Kopane.
Of the R1 858 195.71 that was approved for this venture, Kopane said a sum of R593 622.29 has just been accounted as having been paid to the contractor and the designer.
She said in November 2016 the Department of Arts and Culture terminated the relationship with the IDT citing over a year of unacceptable engagements, exchange of correspondence and fizzled endeavors to develop and implement recovery plans.
“It is stunning how the ANC government has neglected to unlock this potential over the last 12 years, since the project was at first planned. Millions of rands were at that point planned on previous events for this project, with no outcome,” said Kopane.
She said DA will continue to fight for the completion of this project without corruption and that it becomes not only a dormant museum, but a living centre for community upliftment in the way which Brandfort remembers Mama Winnie for.