The Herald (South Africa)

Committee to keep tabs on scandal remedial action

- Asanda Nini

BHISHO legislatur­e speaker Noxolo Kiviet has mandated the portfolio committee of the Office of the Premier to closely monitor the implementa­tion of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s proposed remedial actions against those implicated in the Mandela funeral scandal.

On Friday, the multi-party portfolio committee met and was briefed that it would be the one keeping a close eye on whether the provincial government was implementi­ng Mkhwebane’s recommenda­tions properly or not.

In her report made public in December, Mkhwebane found that some government officials, provincial politician­s and state institutio­ns were implicated in the irregular spending of more than R20-million, which was set aside for activities around the time of former statesman Nelson Mandela’s death in December 2013.

The amount formed part of R330-million diverted at the time from the infrastruc­ture developmen­t grant.

Portfolio committee chairman Sicelo Gqobana this week confirmed that his committee was briefed by the legislatur­e’s legal team about its new role, which will see it putting pressure on the Phumulo Masualle-led government to properly implement Mkhwebane’s remedial recommenda­tions.

Her recommenda­tions include that action be taken against those found with their hands dirty in irregular spending of taxpayers’ millions.

“As soon as we get a proper referral letter signed by the speaker or her deputy, we will determine when to call the premier to a meeting and hear about his government’s plans on implementi­ng such recommenda­tions,” Gqobana said.

In her report, Mkhwebane said it was shocking that funds were paid to suppliers, with inflated rates, without verificati­on of delivery of services or goods.

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