LIMPOPO Sports, Arts and Culture MEC Onicca Moloi has allegedly taken over her department’s procurement
processes, imposed hand-picked service providers and paid them inflated prices worth millions.
African Times can reveal today that Moloi allegedly hijacked last year’s Mapungubwe Arts Festival, side-lined the company contracted to run it before dishing out lucrative deals to companies she personally identified and appointed.
According to insiders and official documents seen by African Times –including internal memos, proof of payments and correspondence — Moloi personally ordered service provider Magula Promotions (PTY) Ltd to include some service providers onto a list of artists booked to perform at the R12 million festival in December last year.
Moloi replaced Nandi Ndalane as the province’s Sports, Arts and Culture MEC during a cabinet reshuffle by Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha in September last year.
According to a report compiled by Magula General Manager, Reggy Zikalala, Moloi directly interfered with the running of Mapungubwe after taking over the department, “unilaterally” changed the already agreed programme and instructed the company to include six other events — creating a budget shortfall of R6.2 million.
This included the Indigenous Culinary Food Showcase; Children’s Festival; Traditional Court; Pop-Up Gym; Bush Braai and motor bike entertainment group Sapayopa.
The department spent R10 million on the 2016 Mapungubwe Festival, with the other R2 million coming from the National Department of Arts and Culture. Of this budget, R3.9 million was spent on the Gospel leg of the festival due to be held next weekend.
Moloi, said Magula’s report, also moved the Gospel part of Mapungubwe from December to Easter, took over the running of the event before her department instructed the company to pay Sapayopa an advance of R500 000.
Internal memos showed that the department also paid gospel artists including Dr Tumi, Deborah Fraiser, Winnie Mashaba, Lebo Sekgobela, Hlengiwe Mhlaba and Solly Mahlangu full amounts of between R85 000 and R106 000 each before they could render their services at the April 14 festival.
“I raised alarm with the officials that what the MEC is doing is pushing the cost of the festival way above the
budget of the department but I was told that this is what the MEC wants and there is nothing that can be done
about it,” Zikalala said in the report.
“The MEC also, unilaterally, changed the line up of the main jazz festival and we indicated that we have already signed the contracts and paid the deposits of all the headline artists.”
According to a memo from the acting head of the Limpopo Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Mabakane Mangena to Magula director Moretlo Kabi, dated November 11, 2016, the company was instructed to give Sapayopa an advance of half a million rand.
“Following our telecon, we hereby confirm and formalise our request for you to pay Sapayopa an amount
of five hundred thousand rand only (ZAR 500 000.00), which is payable immediately,” Mangena wrote.
“The Limpopo Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (LDSAC) will refund the advanced money before
the start of the Mapungubwe Arts Festival on the 1st December 2016.”
Zikalala further accused Moloi of “collapsing” corporate governance and changing the line up “willy-nilly” by getting directly involved in operational matters.
“At this stage all corporate governance protocols had collapsed and the MEC took over the running of
the event. We were communicated to directly from the MEC’s Office either by herself or her Chief of Staff,” he
“The MEC also started a WhatsApp chat group involving departmental officials, our representative and some of the people we were later instructed to appoint as service providers for Choral Music and Arts Award and Cultural Pageant. She dedicated a lot of time to questioning our bona fides and checking contracts signed and
mentioned that our contract was unlawful.”
Moloi spokesperson Moloko Moloto denied that the MEC took over the running of Mapungubwe and imposed some artists, saying she merely made “suggestions”.
He said Zikalala fabricated lies about Moloi because she had questioned Magula’s “irregular” contract.
“MEC Onicca Moloi does not interfere with administrative duties of the department. As MEC she has
a responsibility to give political and strategic guidance to the department. She’s never instructed anyone to include people. Yes, she has made several suggestions, but that doesn’t amount to interference,” Moloto said.
“What you need to know is that, Magula Promotions is aggrieved because MEC Moloi, upon her appointment in September 2016, started asking questioned over their irregular appointment as a service provider.
“They are desperately doing everything, going to all media houses, trying to tarnish the MEC’s image. But the MEC is not perturbed by their roguery.”
Moloto denied that Moloi’s interference created a R6 million budget shortfall, saying Magula were trying to “create a crisis where there is none”.
“In fact the service provider in their bid documents, promised to raise an amount of no less than R12 million in sponsorship but they failed to raise even a single cent,” he added.
Zikalala declined to comment on the matter.
“We are currently trying to resolve our problems with them. So, we prefer not to discuss the matter in the media. We are still weighing our options on what to do. At the moment there is no comment,” Zikalala said.