Public protector: EC premier Oscar Mabuyane used Winnie memorial funds for home renovations
Eastern Cape Premier and ANC provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane and party treasurer Babalo Madikizela could find themselves under investigation by the Hawks following a damning report by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane that the two had fraudulently and improperly benefitted by R1.1m meant for the late Winnie Madikizela’s memorial service which was held by Mbizana Local Municipality (MLM) in 2018.
In her investigation into allegations of corruption, maladministration or misuse of public funds by senior and executive Eastern Cape government officials and the MLM, Mkhebane found that Mabuyane personally benefitted to the value of R450 000 while Madikizela benefitted to R350 000.
The investigation followed a complaint lodged on July 1, 2019 by a BCM resident Xolile Mashukuca.
In preparation for the memorial service, the provincial Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture and the municipality entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with a view to collaborate and coordinate efforts geared at the successful hosting of the event.
The department and MLM resolved to work together as partners to host the service.
In terms of the agreement, the department was to provide the municipality with funding in the amount of R1.1million for the transportation of the public to the service.
Mkhwebane found that the funds were misappropriated by the department and the MLM, with the assistance of businessman Lonwabo Bam.
Bam had since signed sworn affidavits where he detailed how the money was channeled from the source to accounts that were carrying out renovation works to Mabuyane’s private house, while R350 000 went to a company-owned by Madikizeka.
Madikizela said he had not seen Mkhwebane’s report while Mabuyane had not commented.
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