Mandela funds question probed

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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 - Allegations that the Eastern Cape legislature twice blocked the DA's questions about funds for former president Nelson Mandela's funeral were being investigated, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

“Once she (Speaker Noxolo Kiviet) has finished the investigation, she will respond to the question in the house sitting session, as this matter was asked during the house sitting session,” legislature spokesman Velisile Bukula said.

Democratic Alliance MP Athol Trollip said in a statement earlier that he had submitted questions for premier Phumulo Masualle, but when the legislature sat on July 3, his questions had been modified.

The question had been changed to exclude reference to Masualle's personal bank account, into which the funeral funds were reportedly deposited.

Trollip raised this with Kiviet as a point of order and asked her to look into the matter.

He asked to resubmit the questions, but was told in writing by the legislature's questions co-ordinator that the same questions could not be asked twice in the same year.

Trollip said he was not satisfied with the explanations about why his original questions were not posed to Masualle and why they could not be re-submitted.

“Why does the newly elected premier not take the opportunity to take the legislature into his confidence and explain the whole situation to the legislature and to the public?

“Instead, each week and month since the sad funeral of former president Nelson Mandela more and more intrigue and embarrassment around this funding fiasco has surfaced.”

Bukula said Kiviet was in contact with the office of Hansard and house business, responsible for receiving questions.

Hansard is the supposedly verbatim record of parliamentary proceedings.

Trollip said he would consider making a complaint to the public protector if the matter was not resolved at the next sitting, scheduled for next Wednesday.

Sapa


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