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Parties want funeral costs of MEC's son investigated

By unknown | Jul 09, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Opposition parties in the KwaZuluNatal legislature have called for an investigation into allegations of mismanagement in the embattled department of agriculture and environmental affairs.

This follows revelations that the department had coughed up R87000 for the funeral of the son of former MEC Gabriel Ndabandaba in 2005.

The IFP leader in the legislature, Lionel Mtshali, said the former department head, Jabulani Mjwara, must be held accountable for money spent on the late Bongani Ndabandaba's funeral.

Ndabandaba, who was the first black pilot, died in a crash at an air show in Vereeniging.

Mtshali said his party was still mourning the unfortunate experience that befell the Ndabandaba family.

But, he said it saddened the IFP even more that the department had spent about R87000 of the taxpayers' money to pay for the memorial and funeral services without Ndabandaba's approval.

"Our position is that Mjwara must be held personally accountable for authorising the use of government funds to pay for the funeral," Mtshali said

DA leader Roger Burrows said agriculture and environmental affairs MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu must investigate the circumstances surrounding the payment for the funeral.

"It's quite clear that officials who are being summoned for disciplinary hearings are the more junior officials who might have been instructed by their seniors to make an unauthorised payment," Burrows said.

"It is clear that more senior officials need to be prosecuted."

Burrows said it was still unclear whether the funeral payment allegations had anything to do with the recent forensic report, which has not been made public.

He said the report showed that about R80million was unaccounted for in the department.

A deputy manager of communications in the department, Raj Singh, will face an internal disciplinary hearing this week for the loss of state funds used for the funeral expenses.

Mjwara resigned under a cloud while the forensic investigation into the affairs of the department was being finalised.


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