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DEPUTY director-general of Arts and Culture Sydney Selepe, pictured , has been suspended because of irregularities involving millions of rands, Sowetan investigations can reveal.
The top civil servant is accused of irregularly authorising the December 16 Reconciliation Day Concert last year, paid for by the department.
The promotions company contracted to organise the event billed the government for about R8million but only about R500000 of the money was paid to artists who performed.
Sowetan is in possession of an assurance letter signed by Selepe on behalf of the department, giving the promotions company, One One is Two Music Promotions, a guarantee for getting an overdraft of R8million from the bank.
Selepe assured the promoter that the government would pay R8million into the company's account within seven days.
The department refused to give details about the scandalous concert but confirmed that Selepe and another official are still to face disciplinary action in connection with the case.
"The matter is being handled as a disciplinary process, so the DAC is not in a position to reveal details of the report or charges to the media since it would prejudice the outcome of the process," said spokesperson Anil Singh.
"The DAC remains committed to the principles of accountability and transparency.
The concert featured some of the country's leading musicians, including Danny K, Mahotella Queens, Kelly Khumalo, Josie Fields, Parlotones, Ringo, Mafikizolo, 340ml, and Tasha Baxter.
The promoters have defended what appears to be an exorbitant fee, saying that every cent has been accounted for and they delivered what was required of them.
"We have delivered and gave the DAC the report, including every invoice and a video of the event, showing that it was a top class show. We are not a fly-by-night," said Fana, who refused to give his surname, saying he was one of the partners in the company.
Selepe, who has been on suspension for close to a year, was not available for comment.