Freedom Park museum must account for R65 000 KFC bonanza

Issued by Veronica van Dyk MP – DA Shadow Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture
31 Jan 2024 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Veronica van Dyk MP.

In light of recent media reports revealing a financial loss of R500 000 to scammers and unauthorised expenditures of R65 000 on KFC by Freedom Park Museum officials, the DA urgently calls for transparency and accountability in addressing these concerning issues.

According to media reports, Freedom Park Museum fell victim to scammers due to a lack of robust systems to safeguard against fraud. Additionally, it has been uncovered that officials spent a significant amount on KFC without adhering to prescribed procurement processes. The DA calls on the relevant authorities to request the forensic report conducted by SNG Grant Thornton to thoroughly investigate the matter.

It is disconcerting to learn that this investigation, conducted in September 2020, was kept confidential until it was leaked to City Press. Furthermore, the failure to report these incidents to the portfolio committee of Sports, Arts, and Culture raises serious questions about transparency and accountability within Freedom Park Museum.

The DA urges the portfolio committee to seek answers to the following:

1. Provide the fraud case number opened by the museum to follow up on the investigation initiated in 2019;

2. Clarify whether any actions have been taken against the Chief Financial Officer (Malapane) and Finance Manager (Mashaba), accused of negligence in the forensic report;

3. Confirm if the auditors’ recommendation, advising Freedom Park to discipline the employee responsible for the improper procurement of fried chicken, has been implemented; and

4. Address concerns raised by the Freedom Park NEHAWU Branch in their December 2023 letter to the portfolio committee, specifically regarding alleged controversial transactions involving some Council members and Freedom Park management.

The DA emphasises the need for the portfolio committee to prioritise oversight of Freedom Park Museum, given the apparent serious governance problems within the institution. South Africans deserve clarity, accountability, and assurances that public funds are managed with the utmost responsibility.

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