SABC News - Madonsela orders NW government to account for missing millions:Friday 29 July 2016

Madonsela orders NW government to account for missing millions

Friday 29 July 2016 20:23

Sello Tatai

The Public Protector is expected to release the final report in a few weeks.

The Public Protector is expected to release the final report in a few weeks.(SABC)

Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela says the North West Provincial government must account for the millions of rand of royalties owed to the Bapo Ba Mogale Community in Bapong near Brits.

Madonsela has been investigating the matter since 2012. Millions of rand have been paid into the province's  D-Account by Lonmin and other mining companies operating in the area since 1994.

But to date, only around half a million rand is left in the account. Madonsela briefed the community on her preliminary findings at Bapong on Friday.

"What is left in your bank account as we speak today, is R495 695, what it means is that all the money that you have earned- the R617 million has been spent. We have established that the signatories were a certain Mr Mannye and Mr Manne. The money has stopped going into the D-account since 2014. The people who were on the account are in the North West, it was their job to make sure that the account was accounted for. All officials that I have mentioned are in the offices."

Close to R80 million was spent on the royal palace which is incomplete and one of the administrators appointed by government to manage Bapo finances was paid R18 million in one year.

Residents are calling for the swift arrest of the alleged perpetrators.

“The last time you were here we pleaded with you that the next time you come here you must come with the police and arrest all those who have stolen from us,” say some residents.

The world's third largest platinum producer Lonmin maintains it has never reneged on the agreement made to pay royalties.

Recently a further R40 million of equitable share was paid into the Bapo account and it is also unaccounted for.

The Public Protector is expected to release the final report in a few weeks.

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