File picture: African News Agency / ANA
File picture: African News Agency / ANA

Robben Island Museum council’s finding ’vindicates’ association’s maladministration claims

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published Mar 10, 2021

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Cape Town – The Ex-political Prisoners Association (EPPA) said they felt vindicated after the Robben Island Museum (RIM) Council confirmed that they found evidence of maladministration.

The EPPA called for a probe into price-fixing and tender collusion during November 2018 and, after an investigation, the RIM on Monday night confirmed that evidence of mismanagement had been found.

RIM said they had been furnished with the “contemplated report of legal advice”, and would institute disciplinary action.

EPPA spokesperson secretary-general Mpho Masemola said the outcome had vindicated the organisation.

“As EPPA we had been consistent in raising the matters of corruption, maladministration and trampling on our heritage and legacy on Robben Island. The statement and the outcome of the investigation has indeed vindicated the EPPA, because the then RIM Council and current management were casting our allegations as vilification of their calibre. We shall, however, await the full report and action by the Minister of Sports Arts and Culture, as this matter was elevated to his office,” said Masemola.

RIM council chairperson Khensani Maluleke said: “The recommendations are still to be implemented, so at this point in time we can confirm that the investigation revealed evidence which sustains a prima facie case for disciplinary steps, in relation to one of the allegations.”

RIM spokesperson Melany Kuhn said: “Given their nature and content, the RIM council resolved that it would assess and investigate the allegations. It also resolved to address certain further and/or new allegations of mismanagement that had arisen subsequent to the November 2018 allegations.”

The RIM council sought the assistance of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, who in turn approached the state attorney to facilitate the appointment of an independent legal adviser, appointed during June last year, to assess and investigate the allegations.

Kuhn confirmed that disciplinary processes “have only just begun”.

“The report has been presented to the RIM council for their consideration and implementation of the recommendations. The related disciplinary processes have only just begun, and the timeline and outcome cannot be pre-empted at this point,” said Kuhn.

Maluleke said once the disciplinary process concluded, an executive summary would be made public.

“Out of respect to the RIM employees concerned, potential witnesses and the integrity of the disciplinary process as a whole, no further information can responsibly be provided at this stage.

’’At the finalisation of the disciplinary process and/or any other legal proceedings relating thereto, the outcomes thereof will be made known and an executive summary of the report made available to the public.

’’We wish to thank the EPPA for bringing the allegations to our attention and for their steadfast commitment to the well-being of RIM’s interests,” said Maluleke.

The department was not able to comment on enquiries at deadline.

National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) regional secretary Baxolise Mali also welcomed the conclusion of the investigation.

“We hope the disciplinary action will be taken swiftly, and that those who are implicated must be placed on precautionary suspension so as to prevent them from threatening witnesses or meddling with the case.

“There is always an excuse of the institution being in bad financial state yet we warned many times that the way the institution was being run it was as if people were intentionally drowning it,” said Mali.

Cape Times

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