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R115m palace build denounced as wasteful expenditure by Public Protector

By Staff Reporter | 2017-06-19 13:23:42.0

There was gross misuse of funds by the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs during the construction of the Bapo Ba Mogale palace complex which cost a total of R115 million — way above the budgeted R29.8 million.

This is according to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane‚ who said on Monday there were no approved municipal plans‚ and no action taken against the main contractor when complaints surfaced.

The Bapo administration and department failed to advance the well-being of community‚ act in good governance‚ and ensure proper controls on their finances‚ she said.

Administrators were paid exorbitant amounts by the Bapo administration and the department‚ she noted.

She also found irregularities in the administration of other finances‚ including the allocation of bursaries to deserving students.

This is the culmination of a five-year-long investigation‚ dating from when a complaint was laid with the watchdog institution. Former public protector Thuli Madonsela began the investigation into the disappearance of more than R600 million of mining royalties once held by the Bapo Ba Mogale‚ a platinum area near Brits.