First National Bank has offered to pay a contribution towards the Living Legends Legacy Trust.
DURBAN - First National Bank has offered to pay a contribution towards the Living Legends Legacy Trust (LLLT) from which funds were allegedly siphoned by playwright and director Welcome Msomi.

However, the bank said it was doing this as a “gesture of goodwill” to the artists who were the beneficiaries, and not as an acceptance of liability.

FNB’s Lee-Anne van Zyl commended the response of the law enforcement authorities, adding that they remained committed to co-operating with the legal representatives of the Living Legends Legacy Programme (LLLP) and police on the matter.

FNB is in talks with the Department of Arts and Culture on a set amount that will be paid to the department.

Last month, The Mercury reported that Msomi allegedly pilfered R8 million from the trust’s account. Department spokesperson Asanda Magaqa yesterday refused to comment, saying police investigations and negotiations with FNB were ongoing.

However, she told a daily newspaper that Minister Nathi Mthethwa had said justice would not only entail the bringing of the perpetrator to book, but the recovery of the misappropriated funds.

To date, the department has set aside R20m to aid the LLLP in its objectives. Of the money pledged, R8m had been paid to the LLLT in August last year and it was this that Msomi allegedly stole.

The programme was first launched in August, 2015 and has paid homage to the likes of Dr John Kani, Dr Esther Mahlangu and Abigail Kubheka.

Msomi, 76, was nabbed by the Hawks last month at a hotel in Gauteng.

Hawks spokesperson Lloyd Ramovha said Msomi remained in custody. “He appeared in court on April2, but the matter was postponed as his address needed to be verified,” he said. Msomi is due back in court next month.