Tourism Department lays corruption charges against Been Around GP director

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The Department of Tourism has opened a corruption case against the director of a company that failed to construct a multi-million rand tourism project in Tshakhuma, outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo.

Tourism Director-General, Victor Tharage says the case was opened after the company Been Around GP squandered over R9.3 million meant for the first phase of the Tshakhuma Conference Development Heritage and Tourism project.

The department has confirmed that they paid the contractor upfront without any work being done.

The R28.5 million project was meant to create jobs and bring tourism to the area. The field where the project was supposed to be constructed is now overgrown with bushes.

Tharage says the matter is now with the National Prosecuting Authority.

“There were also elements of criminality in terms of the usage of money, where some of the money was used for some of the purposes that it was not originally intended [for]. There were allegations of bribery that have actually surfaced. So my predecessor opened a case at the Sunnyside Police Station for this matter to be investigated. The matter was indeed investigated [and] it has actually gone as far as [to the] prosecution authority,” explains Tharage.