ANC goes into damage control over Winnie Mandela’s Brandfort House
20 June 2017
The DA notes the oversight visit by the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Maggie Sotyu, to the site of Winnie Mandela's House in Brandfort yesterday. She was accompanied by the Free State MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mathabo Leeto.
It is interesting that this visit comes days after extensive negative press coverage around alleged fraud and misappropriation of funds on this project to convert Winnie Mandela’s Brandfort house into a museum.
MEC Leeto indicated that the provincial government will see what they can do with the little funding that they have to complete the project, whilst millions of Rands were already budgeted on previous occasions for this project, without any result.
The MEC also alluded to the fact that the project holds tourism and job opportunities to the benefit of the local community, but remained silent on why the ANC government has failed to unlock this potential over the last 12 years, since the project was initially planned.
Although the DA would welcome the establishment and completion of the Winnie Mandela House Museum, we condemn in the strongest terms the fact that it took the recent public outcry on the matter before both MEC Leeto and Deputy Minister Sotyu appeared to express their willingness to take action.
The MEC and Deputy Minister should have used the opportunity to call for a full investigation as to where the previously allocated funds were spent, why the project has been incomplete for 12 years and why the site has still not been declared a provincial heritage site.
The DA has submitted written questions to both MEC Leeto and the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, in this regard.
It would be appalling if a finding was to be made of irregular spending of funds on the part of the government and that the ANC used what is a painful past - not only for Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, but also for the people of Brandfort - to enrich themselves.
Issued by George Michalakis, DA Constituency Head for the Masilonyana, Tokologo and Tswelopele Local Municipalities, 20 June 2017