Cape Times

Liquor board’s R9m office splurge

- Siyavuya Mzantsi siyavuya.mzantsi@inl.

THE Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in the province wants to get to the bottom of how R9 million was allegedly spent for the refurbishm­ent of office space for the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) which the Auditor-General (A-G) believed amounted to irregular expenditur­e.

Scopa chairperso­n Ferlon Christians said he had seen the contents of the forensic report and discussed it with the committee yesterday.

This came as the Department of Community Safety said it, the WCLA and the Provincial Forensic Services had engaged with the independen­t forensic investigat­ion service provider to clarify the recommenda­tions of the first draft report dated December 2016.

The probe was establishe­d after an audit finding by the A-G into the procuremen­t processes followed for refurbishm­ent and fitting out of office space for the WCLA.

The investigat­ion, which allegedly implicates then WLCA chief executive Thys Giliomee, was instituted by the authority’s management based on the outcome of the 2015/16 audit by the A-G.

Giliomee, whose term at the liquor authority ended in 2015, is the Mossel Bay municipal manager.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said the second report was handed to Legal Services to advise the WCLA on how it should proceed.

Sources close to the investigat­ion feared the report could be swept under the carpet.

Ferlon said the report had been sent to him after he requested it after reading about the matter in the media.

“I had to write to MEC Plato saying ‘you have sent the report to me. I have not received the report’. I got the report on those bases. We want to investigat­e why there was an amount of R9m of irregular expenditur­e. Why is there alleged irregulari­ties on the refurbishm­ent? It is our job and mandate as Scopa to see whether there was any wrongdoing,” he said.

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