Opera singer Sibongile Mngoma reacted furiously after her meeting at the Department of Arts and Culture was postponed at the last minute. Picture: Oupa Mokoena African News Agency (ANA)
Opera singer Sibongile Mngoma reacted furiously after her meeting at the Department of Arts and Culture was postponed at the last minute. Picture: Oupa Mokoena African News Agency (ANA)

Report implicates National Arts Council senior officials in irregularities

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Nov 23, 2021

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BETTY MOLEYA

Pretoria - A report by the National Arts Council (NAC) has implicated senior officials of irregularities pertaining to the management of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme, including financial mismanagement, processing irregularities and lack of adequate oversight.

Chief executive Rosemary Mangope and chief financial officer Clifton Changfoot have been charged, according to the report, which was posted on the entity’s website. The Pretoria News could not reach the two officials for comment.

Although all funds have been accounted for, five other former members were cumulatively paid R511 452 for performing the work of independent panel members.

These payments, the report said, were regarded as irregular expenditure, a contravention of the provisions of the National Arts Council Act.

“They failed to provide financial oversight regarding the implementation of the programme within the allocated budget of R285 million, resulting in an over-commitment amount of R428 073,778 – more than double the allocated budget.”

The report also identified conflict of interest in respect of some former council members, who contravened Section 8(5) of the Act by participating in the processes of the programme and failing to declare their directorship in companies that had applied.

The report follows a protest outside the offices of the Arts and Culture Ministry by members of the Im4TheArts movement.

At the forefront of the protest was opera singer Sibongile Mngoma, who said she and the others had come to a meeting, only to be told at the 11th hour that it had been cancelled.

covidThe meeting was about Covid-19 relief funds for artists and other financial and support demands, including the presidential stimulus package.

Chaos erupted when they were not allowed into the building, and the Tshwane Metro Traffic Department and SAPS were called to maintain law and order. Several protests have been staged by the artists, who want the department to release the forensic report into the Covid-19 relief funds that were meant for artists.

Pretoria News

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