Gasps as Madon­sela de­tails ‘miss­ing mil­lions’ in min­ing roy­al­ties

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — Guests at a Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor feed­back ses­sion gasped when they heard that the R617.3 mil­lion first de­posited into a North West com­mu­nity min­ing roy­al­ties ac­count in 1995 had dwin­dled to R721 000 by July this year.

The in­for­ma­tion was re­vealed on Satur­day at a com­mu­nity brief­ing in Brits at one of Thuli Madon­sela’s fi­nal tasks as she pre­pares to leave of­fice.

Speak­ing through an in­ter­preter, Madon­sela said the R617m ini­tially de­posited was made up of R392m in de­posits by Lon­min and other busi­nesses, and R224m in in­ter­est.

Her of­fice has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing what hap­pened to the BapoBa-Mo­gale com­mu­nity’s col­lec­tive re­sources in its “D” ac­count af­ter the com­mu­nity wanted to know where the money went, what it was spent on, who au­tho­rised the spend­ing and who the ben­e­fi­cia­ries were.

They also wanted the al­leged abuse of re­sources re­lat­ing to the con­struc­tion of Kgosi Mo­gale’s palace to be in­ves­ti­gated.

Madon­sela’s of­fice ex­plained ear­lier in a state­ment that the money gen­er­ated for the “D” ac­count is con­trolled by the De­part­ment of Co-op­er­a­tive Gov­er­nance and Tra­di­tional af­fairs but there was no­body over­see­ing it.

In 2014, the com­mu­nity stopped us­ing the ac­count, pre­fer­ring a newly established in­vest­ment wing for its re­sources.

Since then, about R40m in roy­al­ties was re­ceived, but most of it was used for ad­min­is­tra­tive pur­poses.

On Satur­day Madon­sela said a fur­ther R40m came in, but R100m was bor­rowed from the Pub­lic In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, leav­ing the ac­count in debt.

In the pre­vi­ous brief­ing in July, she said that over the past 20 years, the North West gov­ern­ment was ac­count­able for the ex­pen­di­ture of R617m in the ac­count, pay­ing sup­pli­ers di­rectly for goods and ser­vices in line with a bud­get pre­sented at the be­gin­ning of each year.

The big­gest amount spent, said the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor in July, was on the build­ing of the palace.

A fi­nal re­port is not yet ready for the anx­ious com­mu­nity be­cause the in­ves­ti­ga­tor has to check in­voices and ex­pen­di­ture against what was de­liv­ered, and to whom. A quan­tity sur­veyor is also in­volved in these checks.

This means the re­port will only be avail­able by De­cem­ber, or at the lat­est, Jan­uary.

In the mean­time, she urged the com­mu­nity not to ac­cuse any­body of any­thing un­til there were def­i­nite an­swers.

“We don’t want to point fin­gers at peo­ple be­cause of sus­pi­cion. What­ever we say will be backed by doc­u­ments and prices charged to the palace,” she said.

“In the mean­time we are ask­ing you to stop ac­cus­ing each other of any theft, of any wrong­do­ing.” — News24

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