Panafrican News Agency

Anniversary of Mandela's death marred by graft probe

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – Tuesday’s fourth anniversary of the death of world statesman Nelson Mandela has been overshadowed by the release of a damning probe revealing evidence of massive inflation of prices, misappropriation of funds, poor planning by the government for his high-profile memorial and funeral services.

Public Protector Busi Mkhwebane said the findings are “very scary”.

Addressing a media briefing in Pretoria, she said forensic investigations indicated there was clear evidence that members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) were giving instructions to government officials to fund the proceedings without any official documents. In some cases, freshly printed Mandela T-shirts were purchased for more than US$30 each.

She said a funeral of a former head of State was supposed to be handled by national authorities.

Mkhwebane has instructed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to initiate an official investigation into the matter.

Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.

After suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection, the Nobel Laureate died on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95.

President Jacob Zuma publicly announced his death on television and proclaimed 10 days of national mourning.

A memorial service was held at Johannesburg's FNB Stadium on 10 December 2013 and a state funeral was held on 15 December in Qunu where he was born. Ninety representatives of foreign states travelled to South Africa to attend the memorial events
-0- PANA CU/MA 5Dec2017