Former public protector, Thuli Madonsela. File picture: Masi Losi
Former public protector, Thuli Madonsela. File picture: Masi Losi

Gloomy outlook for Bapong missing millions

By Molaole Montsho Time of article published Jul 29, 2016

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Britz - Public Protector Thuli Mandosela on Friday appealed for unity in the Bapo-Ba-Mogale traditional community in Bapong near Brits.

Madonsela was in Bapong to give feedback on the progress of her investigation into issues pertaining to the finances of the community.

The meeting became rowdy when warring factions within the traditional community heckled each other when they did not agree with statements being made or questions being asked by the different groupings.

“The last time I was here I advised you to be united, your money was looted because you are not united,” she said.

The community had asked Madonsela to probe how much money was in its D-account from 1994, and how much was used to build the palace for the Bapo-Ba-Mogale royalty.

Madonsela presented a gloomy picture of the community’s finances.

She told a fully packed hall that the last time the community books were audited was in 1991, and that in 1994, according to the auditor-general’s report, the community had R721 000 in the D-account.

The D-account is a bank account in which mining companies pay royalties to the communities on whose ancestral land they mine.

She said over 20 years the money had grown to R617.2 million, but the current bank balance was only R495,000.

“Money was used to build the palace, a lot of money was used to pay for bursaries, as well as paying administrators and consultants,” she said.

“We have done the field work and we are now compiling a final report,” she said.

Madonsela said R20 million was budgeted to build the palace but the money used had since reached R80 million.

The community members said they were concerned that Madonsela’s term of office would lapse before the report was finalised. Her non-renewable term ends in October.

African News Agency

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