Crocia Events, the company implicated in a R76 million state funded funeral tender fraud allegations, says it made extensive submissions to PwC detailing the nature of its pricing structures, and how state funerals are organised.
This after a report by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) found that funerals of ANC stalwarts Zola Skweyiya, Billy Modise and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela cost taxpayers close to R80 million and were riddled with irregularities.
The investigation by PriceWaterCooper, a private audit firm found grossly inflated figures and pointed the finger at five DPWI officials, including Deputy General Sam Vukela.
In a statement, Crocia Events says, “We have been informed by both the accounting officials of the Department of Public Works and the Auditor General that no such reports exist.”
The events company, which is reportedly owned by Pheladi Mphahlele and Sammy Mashita, through its lawyers argues that “it reached out to both the DPWI and the Office of the Auditor General to enquire about investigations, if any, and or reports into alleged tender fraud.”
The audio below is of a Scopa sitting discussing the report:
Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille had requested an investigation into allegations relating to services rendered by Crocia Events.
De Lille says, “An amount totalling R27 million was paid to the service provider where the invoiced price differed from the unit price contracted for or tendered for. Then another R33 million was invoiced and paid for but did not appear as contracted items. The last amount is about R12 million that we could not find any evidence that the department acquired any of these goods.”
She says the government should cap state funerals and they should have a budget.
Following the findings of the investigation, the report suggested that the DPWI should take disciplinary action against all implicated officials and should hold them accountable for failing to exercise due diligence.
It also recommended that the department consider getting the assistance of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the conduct of the officials.
None of those implicated have been suspended even though De Lille gave permission for disciplinary action to be taken.
Main types of state-funded funerals in South Africa
Crocia Events response to allegations made by Minister Patricia De Lille
Governance, Risk and Complaince Branch report of the DPWI
Crocia Events Amended Statement (Text)