Probe into liquor board's R9m office splurge

By Siyavuya Mzantsi Time of article published Jun 28, 2017

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The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in the province wants to get to the bottom of how R9 million was allegedly spent for the refurbishment of office space for the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA), which the Auditor-General (A-G) believed amounted to irregular expenditure.

Scopa chairperson Ferlon Christians said he had seen the contents of the forensic report and discussed it with the committee yesterday.

This came as the Department of Community Safety said it, the WCLA and the Provincial Forensic Services had engaged with the independent forensic investigation service provider to clarify the recommendations of the first draft report dated December 2016.

The probe was established after an audit finding by the A-G into the procurement processes followed for refurbishment and fitting out of office space for the WCLA.

The investigation, which allegedly implicates then WLCA chief executive Thys Giliomee, was instituted by the authority’s management based on the outcome of the 2015/16 audit by the A-G.

Giliomee, whose term at the liquor authority ended in 2015, is the Mossel Bay municipal manager.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said the second report was handed to Legal Services to advise the WCLA on how it should proceed.

Sources close to the investigation feared the report could be swept under the carpet.

Ferlon said the report had been sent to him after he requested it after reading about the matter in the media.

“I had to write to MEC Plato saying ‘you have sent the report to me. I have not received the report’. I got the report on those bases. We want to investigate why there was an amount of R9m of irregular expenditure. Why is there alleged irregularities on the refurbishment? It is our job and mandate as Scopa to see whether there was any wrongdoing,” he said.

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