Public protector details battle to get info on R400m ‘irregular spending’ by North West tribal authority

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Public protector details battle to get info on R400m ‘irregular spending’ by North West tribal authority

Mpho Sibanyoni | 2017-03-27 20:06:31.0

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo.

Image by: Reuters

Forensic auditors who probed a North West’s tribal authority’s financial irregularities amounting to R400 million struggled to obtain information relating to the appointment of service providers and beneficiaries.

This was revealed by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Monday when she was giving feedback to the Bapo Ba Mogale community in relation to a probe her office launched.

Mkhwebane‚ speaking at a community hall in Bapong‚ said forensic auditors contracted by her office could not find appointment letters for project administrators who were paid R29 million. They also struggled to trace some of the beneficiaries of bursaries worth R24 million.

Mkhwebane’s predecessor‚ Thuli Madonsela‚ had promised the community members that the report would be finalised by last December.

“That didn’t happen because when I took office in October‚ companies that were doing quantity surveying had already been appointed to check amounts spent on upgrading the royal palace and forensics investigation to check how the money was spent‚” she said.

“There was delay of getting information from the department (of local government and human settlements) and companies (that were contracted).

“We only got the report from the quantity suveyor in January… and the forensic auditors had struggled to obtain documents from the provincial treasury‚” she said.

Mkhwebane said the public protector’s aim was to check whether there was any failure on the part of the relevant administration or department to manage the development account and whethere there was maladministration‚ which resulted in the community not getting its full benefits.

Known as the D Account‚ the controversial bank account houses funds which come from royalties of mining houses in the province.

She said the implicated parties have been sent letters to respond to allegations by April 14 and the final report would be published before the end of April.

– TMG Digital/SowetanLIVE



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