Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Patricia De Lille says her officials will be laying charges against a funeral company that arranged the funeral and memorial services of struggle stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and two other African National Congress veterans.
She alleges that the service provider inflated invoices, costing taxpayers R76 million.
De Lille says she believes government should cap state funerals.
She says, “I will give you examples; an amount totalling 27 million was paid to the service provider where the invoiced price differed from the unit price contracted for or tendered for. Then another 33 million was invoiced and paid for but did not appear as contracted items. The last amount is about 12 million that we could not find any evidence that the department acquisitioned any of these goods.”
De Lille says state funerals need to have a budget.
“Certainly one of the suggestions that we would like to make is to put a cap on what it is that government can spend on state/official funerals. That will help us to remain within budget. There isn’t a specific budget within the department for these events. There is a need for control and it is clear from this case that there was serious negligence on the part of officials within the department.”