Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has announced findings that Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane, Public Works MEC Babalo Madikizela, and the provincial African National Congress (ANC) benefitted from political stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s memorial service, through the Mbizana Local Municipality.

Mkhwebane says the investigation revealed that an amount of R1.1 million was irregularly deposited into the account of the Mthombeni Project by the municipality and was subsequently misappropriated to benefit certain government officials.

She further alleges that R450 000 was paid into the account of a company responsible for renovations at the premier’s private home, while Madikizela benefited R350 000 which went into a private company owned by his wife.

It is alleged that R280 000 went into the ANC’s fundraising account.

“The financial benefits that accrued to Mr. Mabuyane, Mr. Madikizela, and the ANC raise a suspicion of a commission of criminal conduct in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 and/or Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004. Accordingly, this aspect has been referred to the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI) for criminal investigation.”

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane releases investigation reports:

According to the Public Protector’s records, Mabuyane has denied the allegations levelled against him.

“Despite this, Mr Mabuyane denied any knowledge of the arrangements between Mr Bam and Mr Madikizela who benefitted to the tune of R350 000 of the R1.1 million, which was certainly public funds which went into the FNB Account on one PM Plant Hire – a private company owned by his wife Mrs Zonazethu Ziyazithanda-Madikizela as set out in the evidence. The ANC benefitted R280 000 from the R1.1 million which went into its FNB fundraising account as set out in the evidence.”

The matter has been escalated to the Hawks for criminal investigation. Mkhwebane says this is with the view to prosecute those alleged to have tampered with and unduly benefited from the public purse.

“On the issue of R1.1 million and the R2.2 million, all the evidence which we have will be handed to the Hawks. I know that there’s a case that was opened and it’s being investigated. I am just waiting for the senior investigator to confirm that indeed the Hawks are investigating the matter. This evidence will assist them to proceed criminally on this issue.”

The reports formed part of eight reports released by the Public Protector’s office in commemoration of Good Governance Month.