Questions about millions for Winnie’s house

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R8-million definitely does not look anything like this. PHOTO: eNCA

Questions are being raised about millions spent over a period of eleven years on the upgrading of the Brandfort home of struggle icon Winnie Mandela after the project has allegedly yielded no results.
According to the news station, eNCA, the international news station BBC reported in 2005 that R1.6 million was set aside for the restoration of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s Brandfort home. Six years later, in 2011, OFM News reported that the Free State government had spent R671 000 on phase one of a three-phase renovation.
In 2012, R3 million was again set aside for the project and the provincial department then reported that the structure would be completed in August of the same year, ahead of the ANC’s centenary celebrations. In 2013 another R2.5 million tender again went out, yet in 2017 there are still unanswered questions on where all this money went, since no work has been done on the house. This brings the total spent on this project close to R8-million.
Bloemfontein Courant tried numerous times to get a response from he premier’s spokesperson, Tiisetso Makhele, but he was unavailable for comment.
Meanwhile, the Free State premier, Ace Magashule, has in recent weeks dominated news headlines as investigative journalists are speculating on whether or not the Free State government has also been captured by the controversial Gupta family.
In a report published by AmaBhungane on Monday, Magashule’s son, Tshepiso, was allegedly taken on an overseas holiday by the Gupta family, bought 362 of the ANC’s provincial party agents R120 MTN airtime each in May 2014 and then had certain documents printed on a Free State government letterhead in return.
Magashule’s other son, Thato, is also mentioned in the reports as AmaBhungane says the two brothers travelled to Dubai in December 2015, where they stayed at the luxurious Oberoi Hotel for eight days.
In an another report, AmaBhungane has also linked the provincial premier to the Vrede Dairy project which is currently under the investigation of the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane. AmaBhungane alleges that the Guptas benefited about R84 million from the project. – Pulane Choane
pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za