The South African Department of Communications is investigating into misappropriation of the funds contributed by telecoms to sponsor the inaugural ICT Indaba in Cape Town earlier this month.
A report by the Sunday Times indicates SA Telkom paid R5,7-million, Vodacom R5-million and MTN R15 million. The Department of Communications is reported to have contributed R10-million.
According to the report, Vodacom claims to have paid the money to Carol Bouwer Designs while MTN to ABR Consulting. At the moment, the audit results of the alleged scandal are much awaited.
Carol Bouwer Designs was said to have been contracted to organise the event, which turns out to have had an organising “partner” fronted by one of the key ministers. The telecoms now demand to know how the R25,7-million was spent.
The telecoms are reported to have agreed to fund the event after the personal involving of Minister of Communications, Dina Pule who, according to the Sunday Times, personally approached them.
Other accounts say Phosane Mngqibisa, who is said to be Pule’s close ally, withdrew the money from the accounts the governement. This has not been taken lightly and the DOC has put the case under the Auditor-General’s chambers for further investigation.
Meanwhile, Carol Bouwer told a local newspaper that Mngqibisa was a “second signatory” to her company bank account and his company, Khemano, was “quietly contracted” for event management at the ICT Indaba.