Ma­su­alle called to ac­count over fu­neral scan­dal

Party to grill pre­mier and may­ors on Man­dela funds

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Zingisa Mvumvu

ANC bosses in the East­ern Cape have sum­moned pre­mier Phu­mulo Ma­su­alle and three may­ors to its provin­cial head­quar­ters to be quizzed on the Nelson Man­dela fu­neral funds scan­dal.

Ma­su­alle, Buf­falo City metro mayor Xola Pakati, OR Tambo mayor No­makhosazana Meth and King Sa­bata Dalindyebo mayor Du­mani Zozo have been called to Calata House in King Wil­liam’s Town to ex­plain how mil­lions of rands meant for the mourn­ing pe­riod lead­ing to Man­dela’s fu­neral were looted.

The find­ing was made by pub­lic pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane in her Man­dela Fu­neral re­port, re­leased on Mon­day.

The mayor of the Nelson Man­dela Bay metro, which was also named in the re­port, is not an ANC de­ployee.

On the side­lines of the provin­cial gen­eral coun­cil on policy in East Lon­don, ANC provin­cial sec­re­tary Lu­lama Ngcukay­i­tobi con­firmed that the three may­ors had been sum­moned.

Mkhwe­bane re­vealed in her re­port that the East­ern Cape gov­ern­ment had di­verted R300-mil­lion meant for so­cial in­fra­struc­ture prepa­ra­tions for Man­dela’s fu­neral.

Mkhwe­bane re­ferred to sev­eral ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the spend­ing of the money as “un­law­ful ap­pro­pri­a­tion or ex­pen­di­ture of pub­lic money”.

The re­port, in the main, pointed a fin­ger at the provin­cial gov­ern­ment headed by Ma­su­alle, the Buf­falo City metro, Nelson Man­dela Bay metro, OR Tambo dis­trict mu­nic­i­pal­ity and the King Sa­bata Dalindyebo lo­cal author­ity.

Ngcukay­i­tobi said Ma­su­alle and the three ANC may­ors would ap­pear be­fore the party’s provin­cial ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee (PEC) meet­ing on Mon­day.

It will be the first time that Ma­su­alle presents him­self in the PEC since the “fes­ti­val of chairs” con­fer­ence in the East Lon­don ICC more than two months ago.

“That is where we will get a com­pre­hen­sive re­sponse to the Nelson Man­dela fu­neral scan­dal,” Ngcukay­i­tobi said.

“Pre­mier Ma­su­alle will be part of that meet­ing so he can give us his per­spec­tive, be­cause we have re­quested that par­tic­u­lar dis­cusStein­hoff sion with him. But the may­ors from mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that have been re­flected on the pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s re­port will also find space to give their per­spec­tive in so far as the re­me­dial ac­tions are con­cerned.”

Mean­while, Ngcukay­i­tobi said the PEC had also con­firmed Ma­su­alle to form part of the provin­cial work­ing com­mit­tee (PWC).

This could be seen as an at­tempt to forge unity be­tween ri­val groups of Ma­su­alle and new provin­cial chair­man Os­car Mabuyane fol­low­ing the chaotic provin­cial con­fer­ence.

Ngcukay­i­tobi also touched on the main is­sues in the dis­cus­sion on the re­fin­ing of poli­cies that the prov­ince will cham­pion for adop­tion at the ANC’s 54th na­tional congress start­ing on De­cem­ber 16.

One of them was the ANC East­ern Cape’s push for the na­tional con­fer­ence to take a res­o­lu­tion to amend Sec­tion 25 of the coun­try’s con­sti­tu­tion to de­ci­sively ad­dress the land ques­tion and ac­cel­er­ate eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion.

Other is­sues dis­cussed were ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

To­day, the fo­cus will be on strat­egy and tac­tics, or­gan­i­sa­tional re­newal and health.

Ngcukay­i­tobi said the dis­cus­sions would be tabled for fur­ther scru­tiny at Mon­day’s meet­ing, where lo­gis­tics for the elec­tive con­fer­ence would also be de­lib­er­ated.

Pre­mier Ma­su­alle will be part of that meet­ing so he can give us his per­spec­tive

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