Panafrican News Agency

Opposition party lays charges over Mandela funeral scandal

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – The official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday laid charges against the Eastern Cape Provincial Government over the Nelson Mandela funeral graft scandal.

As previously reported by PANA last Tuesday’s fourth anniversary of the death of the world statesman was 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”. 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.

On Monday, DA official Refiloe Ntsekhe laid charges against the provincial Director-General Marion Mbina-Mthembu, who authorised the transfer of US$2.4 million for the Nobel Laureate’s funeral.

"The African National Congress in the Eastern Cape has shown that it will do anything to advance a corrupt agenda, even steal the people’s money in the name of Nelson Mandela,” Ntsekhe said.

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.

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 11Dec2017