Mthethwa launches probe into R300m funds for artists
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Cape Town – Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has promised that action will be taken against any official or person involved in the alleged misappropriation of R300 million for artists during the lockdown.
He said the report would be made public after the forensic investigation had been concluded.
The government had announced a Presidential Employment Stimulus Package (PESP) of R300m to help artists when the lockdown was announced last year March.
It later emerged that some of the funds had allegedly been misappropriated.
Mthethwa said a forensic investigation had been conducted and was led by a law firm.
The firm was appointed at the end of June this year by the National Arts Council, said Mthethwa.
The terms of reference for the investigation included determining if there were irregularities, negligence or misconduct by officials.
Mthethwa, who was replying to a written question in Parliament, said the investigation would “determine if there were any irregularities or inconsistencies in the management, adjudication, and approval of PESP applications received from the sector.”
He added that it would “determine if there is any culpability with regard to those entrusted with the PESP application and administration process.”
He said they would make the report public after the investigation had been completed.
“The forensic auditors are working independently from any internal influence by the NAC officials or Council. The public will get a full report. Action will be taken on those found to be guilty,” said Mthethwa.
There were complaints a few months ago that some of the artists did not get the money.
Some of the artists staged a sit-in at the offices of the National Arts Council in Johannesburg.
The artists were in the building for several months before eventually leaving.