N7billion Mandela Funeral fraud: Eastern Cape PM fingered

South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has blamed the entire provincial cabinet, particularly current Premier Phumolo Masaulle, for the millions allegedly looted during planning and execution of former President Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

On December 4th, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released a report in which she found widespread maladministration and misappropriation of funds amounting to R300 million (about N7,979,250,000) by the Eastern Cape provincial government in funding Mandela's 2013 funeral.

Masualle was the MEC for finance and economic development at the time of Madiba’s death in 2013.

DA MPL, Bobby Stevenson said in a statement on Wednesday that the irregularities happened on Masaulle's watch and that he should be held fully accountable.

Stevenson said that while the African National Congress-led Eastern Cape Provincial Government was within its rights to seek a legal review of the Mandela Funeral Report by the Public Protector, the provincial government should be focusing its energies around what action it will be taking in regard to the issues raised in the report that have been exposed in this province since 2014. 

"Even though all fingers are correctly pointed at the Eastern Cape Director-General (DG), Marion Mbina-Mthembu, in relation to her role in the scandal, this cannot obscure the role of the provincial cabinet and particularly the current Premier and then MEC for Finance, Phumulo Masualle. All these irregularities happened on his watch and he should be held fully accountable."