Eastern Cape fraud surrounding Mandela's funeral to be probed after Ramaphosa signs SIU proclamations

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced several proclamations for the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to investigate irregularities at several levels of government, including alleged corruption surrounding the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela.

The Presidency said in a statement on Friday that the proclamations, among others, authorised the SIU to investigate allegations of:

  • serious irregularities in relation to the procurement of goods and/or services in a manner that was unfair, competitive, transparent, equitable or cost-effective, contrary to applicable legal framework;
  • improper or unlawful conduct by employees or officials;
  • unlawful appropriation of expenditure or public money or property;
  • an unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon State property;
  • intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property; and
  • unlawful or improper conduct by any person, which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public or any category thereof.

The following entities will be investigated:

  • the Mopani District Municipality;
  • the National Department of Public Works;
  • the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Transport;
  • the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA); and
  • the various Eastern Cape provincial institutions, including the provincial departments of planning and treasury, and safety and liaison, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, the King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality, the OR Tambo District Municipality and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.

All the matters in the Eastern Cape relate to alleged corruption surrounding Mandela's funeral.

The proclamation, which was signed on May 13 and gazetted on Friday, requires the SIU to investigate maladministration in the affairs of the Eastern Cape Department of Provincial Planning and Treasury, and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation in relation to the allocation of funds used for Mandela's and any related unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by any of the institutions or the State.

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Furthermore, the SIU must also investigate the procurement of or contracting for goods, work or services by the above-mentioned institutions in relation to Mandela's funeral. 

Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip said in a statement the NMB coalition government welcomed the investigation.

"Nelson Mandela Bay is one of the focus municipalities for the investigation, highlighting the severity of maladministration and corruption that prevailed under previous governments," he said. 

"The R8.18 billion of irregular expenditure, incurred by the previous government, noted in the AG's 2016/17 report must be the focus of this investigation." 

"This massive amount of money was spent by previous administrations who failed to preserve relevant documentation necessary for its justification and regularisation. "

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He said, since the coalition government took over from the ANC in 2016, it has investigated and written off almost R9 billion irregular expenditure.

"The SIU must carry out its mandate and support this coalition government in its effort to clean up years of maladministration," Trollip said.

The investigation into KwaZulu-Natal's Department of Transport must look into the consolidation and disposal of several properties in Verulam and Pinetown that belonged to or were under the control of the department and corruption and irregularities involved with that. The properties belonged to or were under the control of the department.

It should also determine if any related unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure was incurred by the department.

The SIU must also investigate the department's failure to collect rent in terms of a lease agreement which was concluded between the department and a third party, which isn't named in the proclamation, in respect of one of the properties in Verulam. 

The investigation into the MICT SETA relates to maladministration in the allocation of discretionary grant funding to Lylacorp (Pty) Ltd, Network: Infraco (Pty) Ltd, Bandwith Technologies, Inforcomm (Pty) Ltd, Hallmark Technologies CC, SPL Communications CC, Centretech Broadcasting CC, Northern Lights Trading, Nashua (Pty) Ltd and Broadband College of Technology and any losses or prejudice suffered by the MICT SETA or the state as a result of such maladministration.

The SIU must also investigate if any officials or employees of the MICT SETA had any undisclosed or unauthorised interests in these companies.

* See everything President Cyril Ramaphosa did during his first 100 days as president at Cyril100, News24's dedicated site.