Home News ‘Give MEC time to act on Protector’s report’

‘Give MEC time to act on Protector’s report’

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The event never took place and the money was never recovered from Traffic Events by the NCACC or the department

The Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Henk Kruger African News Agency (ANA)

THE CULTURAL and Creative Industries Federation of SA in the Northern Cape has called on cultural and creative practitioners to allow the MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Bernice Sinxeve, an opportunity to use her 60 days before taking action against those involved in the allocation of R1 million to Traffic Events to host the Umsobomvu Youth Tourism and Cultural Festival that never took place.

This follows an investigation by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane into the allocation of R1 million to Traffic Events by the Northern Cape Arts and Culture Council (NCACC) for the festival that was supposed to take place in December 2016.

Mkhwebane found that the NCACC made the payment to Traffic Events after being instructed to do so by the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC).

The event never took place and the money was never recovered from Traffic Events by the NCACC or the department.

Mkhwebane had instructed Sinxeve to take appropriate action against those implicated in the incident.

The provincial co-ordinator of the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of SA (CCIFSA), Thabo Motlhabi, said yesterday that they were aware that there are some practitioners who had put pressure on Sinxeve to take swift and immediate remedial action.

“The Public Protector, in her report, gave the MEC 60 days to apply remedial action. A majority of cultural and creative practitioners strongly agree that since our sector initiated this case and supplemented it to arrive at this outcome, it is only proper to allow the law to take its course. In the unlikely event that the MEC fails to act accordingly, we will declare war on DSAC,” said Motlhabi.

“We expect the MEC to take radical action against all the (alleged) criminals involved in this case, both in the NCACC and DSAC. After uprooting these criminal elements we expect a drastic reshuffle in the department, especially in the arts and culture directorate.”

Mkhwebane, in her findings, made a ruling last month that appropriate action should be taken within 60 days of her releasing her report by Sinxeve against the head of department of DSAC, Ruth Palm, in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the Public Service Act for her improper conduct in requesting the NCACC to make a direct payment of R1.6 million to Traffic Events to organise the festival that was never held.

She further stated that appropriate action should also be taken in terms of the NCACC Act and the PFMA against the NCACC as the accounting authority for its improper conduct in making a payment of R1 million to Traffic Events to organise a festival that was never held and for failing to recover the money paid and for failing to cancel the memorandum of agreement.

Mkhwebane indicated that the NCACC should take appropriate action and ensure that it recovers the R1 million and interest from Traffic Events within 60 days of the release of her report.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehauwu) yesterday protested outside the Office of the Premier, where they called for the dismissal of Palm. The union’s branch in DSAC shut down services at the department on Monday.