Public protector to investigate mayor’s charity golf day

The Public Protector is looking at a complaint about the Madibeng mayor’s charity golf day where funds raised were allegedly paid into the bank account of a private company.

Madibeng mayor Douglas Maimane (right) with fellow golf players

The complaint was apparently laid by an anonymous person last week, requesting the Public Protector to investigate links between the company and officials at the Madibeng municipality.

The mayoral golf day took place on 22 December at Magalies Park Golf Estate. Players had to pay a registration fee of R2 000. The bank account given on the flyer advertising the golf day, is allegedly not that of the municipality. However, proof of payment had to be sent to two people at the municipality.

According to a post on the municipality’s Facebook page, “the Office of Executive Mayor will look at numerous charity initiatives to assist and uplift where necessary. These include but not limited to provision of school uniforms for the needy learners, availing sanitary towels to school girls in need, supporting NGOs etc.”

“With initiatives like these we want to make a difference in the lives of our people. We need to work together and go to battle and confront this poverty. In our next engagement, we must report to you what we did with the monies that you pledged, we must be able to produce material evidence,” Maimane was quoted on the post.

Spokesperson for the Public Protector, Oupa Segalwe confirmed that they had received a complaint last week. “The matter is still being assessed for jurisdiction. This is a standard process for all new complaints. The assessment process will inform what happens next including what issues to identify for investigation if the Public Protector decides to pursue the matter,” he said.

When asked for comment this week, the mayor’s spokesperson, Oupa Marapyane responded as follows:

“The office of the Executive Mayor has noted misleading Media campaign launched through Sowetan print media against the political leadership of Madibeng Municipality. The matter of Golf day has been responded to and clarified however faceless forces are deliberately overloaded to suit a negative political narrative against the municipality leadership
The Golf day programme remains an instrument to realise measures to specifically support works of charity in addition to societal challenges within Madibeng communities
The Executive Mayor welcomes any investigation on this matter by institutions tasked to investigate
We can confirm without any fear of contradiction that the municipality has not spend a cent from its coffers thereof, the initiative is wholly aimed at benefitting the people of Madibeng
It is not a secret that the account which was used during the golf tournament belongs to a private individual who volunteered for his account to be utilised hence there was no mala fide on the matter he has honestly contributed financially towards the success of this worthy course by making some financial contributions towards the tournament , the munipality is still busy with the process of creating a trust account which would in future be utilized for such occasions
We can indicate that there’s a political agenda from faceless business people and some individuals who are hellbent on discrediting the mayor
The office will in due course distribute school uniforms and sanitary pads to needy children in all the identified disadvantaged schools in madibeng area.
It will will be naive for people to insinuate that the mayor would watch helplessly whilst the institution finances are being misappropriated, during his inaugural speech he had vowed to fight any form of corruption to the latter.” [sic]