At last re­port on Madiba fu­neral theft made pub­lic

The Herald (South Africa) - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

TUES­DAY marked four years af­ter our iconic pres­i­dent, Nelson Man­dela, passed away.

It was fit­ting that pub­lic pro­tec­tor Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane’s re­port on the abuse of pub­lic funds in the prepa­ra­tion of Man­dela’s fu­neral was pub­lished that day in the me­dia.

The pub­lic has been kept in the dark about this mat­ter for too long, but the re­lease of her re­port is tes­ti­mony that the wheels of jus­tice grind slowly, but they grind finely.

It was not long ago that I was sus­pended from the East­ern Cape Leg­is­la­ture with­out salary for one month for ask­ing ques­tions about how di­rec­tor-gen­eral Mar­ion Mbina-Mthembu saw fit to trans­fer R250 000 into pre­mier Phu­mulo Ma­su­alle’s per­sonal bank ac­count and what steps were to be taken against her for this bla­tant in­frac­tion of the pre­scripts of the PFMA (Pub­lic Fi­nance Man­age­ment Act).

My leg­is­la­ture ques­tion was al­tered with­out my ex­press per­mis­sion.

When I chal­lenged this and the leg­is­la­ture pro­cesses, I was re­ferred to the ethics com­mit­tee, who found me guilty of mis­con­duct.

I sub­se­quently chal­lenged this sanc­tion in court and the state (pre­mier and leg­is­la­ture’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion) set­tled the case out of court on the day sched­uled to hear the mat­ter.

Noth­ing has hap­pened to any­one in­volved or re­spon­si­ble for this in­frac­tion since the out­come of the said court case.

This shows the brazen at­ti­tude of im­punity that is all too of­ten es­poused by politi­cians and se­nior of­fi­cials in hege­monic ad­min­is­tra­tion, where the op­po­si­tion is treated with ar­ro­gant dis­dain.

I am de­lighted that the ques­tions I was rais­ing then and was chal­lenged for do­ing so are now be­ing raised by the pub­lic pro­tec­tor.

I pray that they will be in­ves­ti­gated and fully pros­e­cuted.

I also com­mit the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Nelson Man­dela Bay to fully in­ves­ti­gate all the is­sues re­ferred to us by the pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s re­port.

The re­port is an im­por­tant de­par­ture from blind con­do­na­tion and shows that we will not tol­er­ate the abuse of scarce pub­lic re­sources driven in the so-called name of some­one as iconic as Madiba.

No one is en­ti­tled to steal pub­lic money un­der any cir­cum­stances. Viva democ­racy. Viva ac­count­abil­ity. Theft will not be tol­er­ated un­der any cir­cum­stances.

Athol Trol­lip, Nelson Man­dela Bay mayor

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