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Public protector clears David Mabuza over R70m Madiba memorial service costs complaint

Deputy President David Mabuza.
Deputy President David Mabuza.
Image: MASI LOSI/Gallo Images

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Friday cleared ANC deputy president David Mabuza of two complaints against him in his capacity as former premier of Mpumalanga.

One of them related to an allegation that the office of the premier in Mpumalanga, under Mabuza, had allegedly appointed a service provider known as Carol Bouwer Productions improperly to organise a memorial service for Nelson Mandela in 2013.

The allegation was that a total of R70m was spent on the memorial service in question, R40m of which was paid to Carol Bouwer Productions.

The second matter investigated was whether Mabuza was involved in the procurement of three luxury vehicles by his office worth R5m - a BMW X5, Range Rover Vogue and Audi A8.

In the first case, Mkhwebane found that Carol Bouwer Productions was irregularly appointed and that the whole R70m spent was irregular expenditure.

"The part of the allegation that the Mpumalanga office of the premier shifted funds from the compensation of employees [in which Mabuza was alleged to have been involved] to pay for the event is not substantiated. No evidence was found to substantiate the allegation," said Mkhwebane.

On the allegation about the luxury vehicles, Mkhwebane said Mabuza was not involved in what she found to be an irregular purchase of the cars.

Said Mkhwebane: "The allegation that former premier David Mabuza was involved in the procurement of his official vehicles is not substantiated.

"There was therefore no violation of the code by the former premier [Mabuza] in the procurement of the vehicles in this matter."

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