Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has issued an instruction to North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo to recoup payments made to various service providers involved in the Bapo ba Mogale financial mismanagement scandal.
Her report into “alleged improper prejudice suffered by Bapo ba Mogale community as a result of maladministration by the former Bapo ba Mogale administration” has exposed a web of lies, deceit, corruption and siphoning of the community’s mineral rights royalties paid to the province.
A total of 12 companies, majority of whom are doing business in the built-environment sector, are liable to reimburse a total amount of R240 million back to the “D account” held in trust by the provincial department of local government and traditional affairs if Mkhwebane’s findings are not taken on judicial review.
The Bapo ba Mogale tribal authority includes areas such as Marikana, where Lonmin is based. The tribal authority, led by Kgosi Kgomotso Morate, contains one of the world’s richest platinum and chrome reserves.
Members of the community, including royal council members, lodged the complaint in 2012, accusing the now-defunct traditional council and provincial government of squandering monies held in the D Account by processing payments to service providers for work never executed.
Tenders and contracts were issued for construction of a “palace complex”, “trunk roads”, “marketing and communications services that included developing strategic plans, design and layout of annual report”, “review of mining activities”, ”implementation of enterprise resources planning system” and “construction of a multipurpose centre”.
The premier has now been given two months, during which he should “initiate a process”, in conjunction with a special investigation unit, to recoup various amounts of money from different companies.
The biggest financial maladministration line item is allegedly “the irregular payment of an amount of R78 863.73 million paid from Nhluvuko Civil Works on the construction of the Palace complex”.
Next in line is “R36.3 million [paid] to Matlapa construction consulting when it was evident there was no value of money in running the project”.
Other findings include “R21 570.99 million paid to Ndazalama Interiors for the construction of the palace complex” and “R20 243 146.85 million paid to Nkambule and Associates on the construction of trunk roads in Wonderkop and Greater Bapong areas”.
ProjexConsult was allegedly paid R8 705 233.85 million for “construction of the palace complex”, Madisa and Associates was paid R3.7 million for communications, which included producing an annual plan, and Mosiamise business consulting received R5.1 million for a review exercise that was never done.
Other payments meant for work the investigation could not find proof of include “R4 052 328.72 million paid to Dire Accounting Practice” for an accounting system, “R8 098.81 million from Thaba consulting engineers for the construction of multipurpose Centre for poor workmanship”.