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Premier denies altering Mandela questions

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iol news pic Mandela memorial Eastern Cape

REUTERS

A woman looks through a window during a memorial service for late former president Nelson Mandela organized by the African National Congress (ANC) in Mthatha, Eastern Cape. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

Mthatha - Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle on Friday denied having altered written questions given by the Democratic Alliance about the Mandela funeral funds.

Masualle answered the questions before the provincial legislature on Thursday.

His spokeswoman Nomfanelo Kota said the questions Masualle responded to were the ones he had received from the legislature.

“The office of the premier would also be interested to know, if the allegations by the DA are true, what would have been the motive behind altering the questions and whose interests would have been served by that,” Kota said in a statement.

She suggested the DA approach the legislature to verify whether the questions answered by Masualle were altered.

The DA has reportedly resubmitted the questions. The premier was expected to give an oral reply in two weeks.

Kota said insinuations that Masualle had purposefully evaded the DA's questions were malicious to the premier and his office.

In May, the Sunday Times reported that government funds meant for the memorial and funeral of former president Nelson Mandela were misused by the Eastern Cape government.

The paper stated that millions in public funds spent on the funeral were paid to suppliers without official approval, and that some of the money was used for the African National Congress's election campaign.

The Eastern Cape provincial treasury reportedly deposited R250,000 into Masualle's bank account. This amount was reversed five days later after questions about the transaction arose.

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