Row brews over donation

Kamva Mokoena

Kamva Mokoena

A storm is brewing over the alleged misuse of the Griqua community's R1,8million to buy land at Kokstad in southern KwaZulu-Natal.

The money was given to the Griquas by the provincial department of arts and culture.

It was meant to fund community arts and culture projects. The projects include the preservation of art work linked to the great Griqua leader, Adam Kok, who played a prominent role in the history of Griquas.

The move is being opposed by the Griquas, who have vowed to prevent the money being used for any other purpose.

"We will oppose this move and we are calling for the Scorpions to intervene," Griqua community leader Cyril George Gangerdine said.

He said they were awarded the money from an arts, culture and tourism competition organised by Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in 2002.

Gangerdine said a structure made up mainly of the Griquas was formed to manage the money.

"Since then we do not know what happened to the money.

"We once heard that there were attempts to buy land with the money, which is in conflict with the terms of the grant," Gangerdine said.

He said the management structure included treasurer Gabriel Marais and chairman Sharon Mann.

Marais, who is the Griqua Development Committee chairman, points a finger at Gangerdine.

"He knows where the money is," Marais said. "He is making a noise about the issue because he wanted the money to be deposited into his personal bank account."

Marais admitted there were attempts to buy land with the money, but said the land was to be used for arts and cultural programmes.

The department of arts, culture and tourism could not be reached for comment.