Dept Arts and Culture Cleans House

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The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) has in residence, the heritage sites, museums and monuments of the country. It also has under its stewardship, various reporting entities. Its reporting entities include: The National Arts Council, National Library of South Africa, Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (PACOFS), National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA); Market Theatre Foundation, and Robben Island Museum amongst other DAC agencies. 

While most of the reporting entities performed well in the execution of their mandate in this financial year, some have not. The DAC does not believe in the masking of difficulties, where administration and institutional governance – or the lack and absence thereof in either- occur. In this regard, Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Director General Vusumuzi Mkhize and the department’s senior officials have spent the past months addressing areas of grave concern including maladministration, corrupt activities and the disintegration of governance in entities. Gains have been made in this regard, in the form of forensic investigations instituted and completed, and corrective measures in the form of plans of action being implemented. 

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NATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO FOUNDATION:

Minister Nathi Mthethwa instituted a forensic investigation in the NFVF after the DAC received various complaints centred on mismanagement. Secondly, following the departure of the previous Chief Executive Officer, the entity has been in the process of filling the vacancy.

  • The “Comperio” forensic report was tabled at a press conference on 21 November 2018 
  • Interviews for the appointment of the CEO have since been concluded.
  • With the effecting of remedial action, this entity is now in a state of stability.

MARKET THEATRE FOUNDATION:

Following allegations levelled against the Chairperson, the CEO, and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) the following steps were taken:  

  • The DAC appointed forensic investigators to investigate the veracity of the allegations levelled against the Chairperson of Council, the CEO and CFO.
  • The investigation has been finalised
  • The report was presented to the  Council in early December 2018 to implement the recommendations
  • Council has submitted its implementation plan (in line with the investigation findings) to the DAC. 
  • The Chairperson of Council Mr Kwanele Gumbi has been relieved of his duties from the Council as Chairperson and Council member.
  • Based on the recommendations, the CEO Ismail Mahomed and CFO Christine McDonald are currently facing a disciplinary process.
  • Mr Gerald Dumas has been appointed as the new Chairperson of Council

SA HERITAGE AGENCY (SAHRA):

Following allegations levelled against the Chairperson, and the CEO regarding the irregularities in expenditure, non-compliance with Supply Chain Management policies by the SAHRA Management and a breach of oversight responsibility by the Chairperson of Council, the following steps have been taken:

  • The investigation is complete and a final report released. .
  • The SAHRA Council has handed over criminal charges to the Law enforcement Agencies to implement the findings of the report in relation to the former Chairperson and CEO.
  • The Council will handle the internal disciplinary charges affecting the SAHRA employees.
  • The CEO has been dismissed with immediate effect by the Council in January 2019.

NATIONAL ARTS COUNCIL (NAC):

Following the receiving of complaints regarding the bonus paid to the Chief Executive Officer Rosemary Mangope and the funding of a project without following proper procedure:

  • A forensic investigation was conducted by Morar Incorporated and finalised.
  • The findings were handed over to the Council.
  • The Council of the NAC gave assurance to the DAC to implement the recommendations.
  • Disciplinary action is currently underway for the parties implicated in the forensic report.
  • The CEO, the CFO and Arts Development Manager are facing disciplinary charges and have received their charge sheets.
  • The CFO has subsequently handed in her resignation.
  • The Acting CEO Dr Sibongiseni Mkhize has assumed as of January 2019.

ROBBEN ISLAND MUSEUM (RIM):

  • Late last year, the DAC received reports alleging maladministration and mismanagement at the RIM
  • The DAC has appointed the service provider in the form of a forensic investigator to investigate the allegations
  • Last week, at a meeting at DAC offices in Pretoria, the service provider to undertake the forensic investigation-Morar Incorporated- was introduced the Chairperson and CEO. 
  • The investigation will commence henceforth. 

Lastly, it is important to note that when whistle-blowers and individuals report worrisome matters to the DAC are taken seriously. This is apparent in how swiftly Minister Nathi Mthethwa and the DAC have acted in the past months, by relentlessly and with great commitment tackling all issues of concern and without hesitation instituting processes to rectify these.  The DAC deems it of utmost importance to be transparent in keeping its stakeholders and members of the public informed on any activities related to not only the department but all agencies and entities under its administration. 

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