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Former-DG interdicts Mkhwebane, but Hawks still investigates her for Mandela memorial corruption

The Hawks will continue investigating the Nelson Mandela memorial corruption scandal, even though former Mpumalanga director-general has successfully obtained an interdict to suspend the implementation of the public protector’s remedial action.

Spokesperson for the Hawks, Brig. Hangwani Mulaudzi, confirmed during a telephone interview with Ziwaphi that their investigation had been going on even before Public Protector investigated the matter.

“We started with that investigation more than two years ago. The NPA returned the case for more investigation,” said Mulaudzi.

Mulaudzi failed to explain why it took the Hawks two years to investigate the matter and more than five years since the scandal broke in 2014.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the public protector, Oupa Segalwe, confirmed that former Mpumalanga director-general, Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize, had successfully applied for a court interdict against the implementation of the public protector’s remedial action.

“Dr. Mkhize approached the courts for a review and she has also obtained an interdict to suspend the implementation of the remedial action pending the review. The PP did not oppose the application for the interdict but she will oppose the review application,” said Segalwe.

Mkhize, reportedly served KwaZulu-Natal premier, Sihle Zikalala with an interdict prevention him from suspending her pending the outcome of her application for the review of the Public Protector’s remedial action.

In May this year, public protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, found that Mkhize irregularly appointed Carol Bouwer Productions and failed to report the deviation to the provincial treasury.

While Mpumalanga provincial government had admitted spending R70 million on hosting three functions in memory of former South African president, Nelson Mandela in December 2013, Mkhwebane only investigated the R44 296 258 that was paid to Carol Bouwer Productions (CBP).

The company, owned by television personality, Carol Bouwer, had quoted the Mpumalanga provincial government R39 796 258, for what it called “Mandela Project MPG” in December 2013, but ended up getting an additional R4,500 000, in January 2014.

The money was paid to CBP following an instruction from Mkhize to the Standard Bank in three letters, in three tranches: R21 416 484,60 on 12 December 2013; R18 379 773,40 on 18 December 2013, and R4 500 000 on 9 January 2014 – weeks after Mandela had been buried.

Mkhwebane specifically directed the Hawks to investigate the circumstances surrounding the R4 500 000, which was paid long after the services that the provincial government had sought from CBP.

“The Director of Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI)must investigate any alleged criminal conduct against implicated parties for financial mismanagement in violation of the PFMA, specifically the incurring of R4,5 Million additional expenses not supported by detailed documentation,” reads Mkhwebane’s report which was released in May this year.

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