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R80K for ANC funeral criticised - report

Free State - Opposition parties in the Mangaung metro have heavily criticised the ANC after R80 000 of taxpayers’ money was approved for the funeral of a local ANC councillor, the Volksblad newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The approval was given at a special council meeting despite opposition from the Democratic Alliance, Cope and the Freedom Front Plus.

When Suzannah Patterson heard screams she thought it was from a hijacking, only to find scores of R100 notes fluttering in the wind.

The parties said it was unfair to use money of already heavily burdened ratepayers for the purpose, while the councillor’s pension fund gives R20 000 for the purpose, according to the report.

The opposition parties told the newspaper the R80 000 was not only excessive, but went against a ban by the minister of finance.

DA councillor Hendrik Minnie said regulations from the minister prohibit councils from using public funds for funerals, with the exception of a maximum of R1 250 for a pauper funeral.

The opposition felt family and friends of deceased ANC councillor Zwelitsha Sekoi could pay for the food at the funeral and not the taxpayers.

ANC councillor Zolile Mancotywa told the newspaper the R80 000 for Sekoi’s funeral was less that the R100 000 given for the funeral of another ANC councillor Kedibone Choene, who was a former mayor.

“Therefore we ask in a responsible manner that only R80 000 should be made available,” the report quoted Mancotywa.

ANC deputy mayor Mxolisi Siyonzana said the ANC would like a policy on council funerals but the finalisation of the policy was hampered by the minister’s guidelines. - Sapa

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