Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: SUPPLIED
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: SUPPLIED

There was gross misuse of funds by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs during the construction of the Bapo Ba Mogale palace complex which cost a total of R115m — way above the budgeted R29.8m.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said on Monday there were no approved municipal plans‚ and no action was taken against the main contractor when complaints surfaced.

The Bapo administration and department failed to advance the wellbeing of the community‚ practise good governance or ensure proper financial controls‚ she said.

Administrators were paid exorbitant amounts by the Bapo administration and the department.

She found irregularities in the administration of other finances as well‚ including the allocation of bursaries to deserving students.

This is the culmination of a five-year-long investigation‚ dating from when a complaint was laid with the watchdog institution.

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela began the investigation into the disappearance of more than R600m of mining royalties once held by the Bapo Ba Mogale‚ a platinum area near Brits.

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