17 November 2018


Provincial Government reiterates support for D-Account investigations


Brian Setswambung


Bokone Bophirima Provincial Government welcomes the outcome of a feedback session by Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, at a community briefing in Brits on Saturday last week.

The Public Protector initially briefed the community in July this year and the Provincial Government issued a response on 1 August 2016 and the same response is reaffirmed in the wake of the Public Protector's Saturday's briefing.

The Provincial Government advises that any money spent by traditional councils should be in accordance with the estimates submitted by those traditional councils.

There are procedures for funds to be spent, which stipulates that all expenditure be authorized by the traditional council for the provincial administration's attention.

It emerged that since 2014, the Bapo ba Mogale Traditional Council had chosen not to use the D-Account and has decided to open a separate account, which has seen a reduction in the number of transactions on the D-Account.

Government will therefore continue to cooperate with the investigation to assess compliance with these procedures.

In an effort to broaden transparency and accountability on matters like this, the provincial government is working on an audit framework for traditional councils to ensure that audits are conducted to afford government the necessary legislative authority to unravel any misuse of funds and take corrective action to bring culprits to book.

The Provincial Government welcomes the Public Protector's brief on matters relating to Bapo ba Mogale, and it is in this spirit that when she requested information, the Provincial Government was ready to cooperate as it did a lot of work in gathering information relating to the D-Account.

A delegation of the Provincial Government led by Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs (CATA) MEC, with a strong team of Heads of Department from CATA and Finance met with the Public Protector on Tuesday 26 July 2016 and shared information she requested on the D-Account.

The Provincial Government remains committed to ensuring continued cooperation with the Public Protector until the matter is concluded.

It is the Provincial Government's view that in instances where people have misused government funds, they would be brought to book. The Provincial Government would further ensure that information is provided on matters of Bapo ba Mogale at all times when the need arises.

Interaction between the Public Protector and the community was to communicate progress to date and how government should work with the Public Protector to ensure the matter is concluded.

"We maintain our commitment to the Public Protector that Government will continue to cooperate with her office's investigation into the D-Account. "The 5th administration looks forward to the conclusion of this matter which has dragged on for the last 21 years, and would consequently not hesitate to take action when required to do so," the Provincial Government said in a statement.

Finally, the Provincial Government also reiterates the Public Protector's call that until the investigations are concluded, people should refrain from pointing fingers informed by suspicions.