Johannesburg – The Democratic Alliance has called for a forensic investigation into what it calls “MEC Hlophe’s R2,5 million DSTV Delicious International Food and Music Festival”.

There has been a lot of controversy around the festival, including the allocation of funds. However, the main concern is on the ignorance of relevant processes regarding the funding of the deal.

The DA says it has been reliably informed that the DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival was not budgeted for nor was it part of the department’s programme.

According to the DA and other sources, it is alleged that Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mbali Hlophe brokered the deal and directly negotiated with DStv. Allegations are that the meeting was supposedly held at a certain Sandton restaurant, and the owner of the restaurant also offered a tender to provide catering services without following proper procurement processes.

It is also alleged that the initial budgeting cost for the festival was R2 million and the R500 000 was only paid a night before the festival. The DA says the procurement was handled directly by the MEC and her office.

The DA says it tabled oral questions to Hlophe in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) with regards to the R2,5 million wasted on this festival, however, the MEC stated that it was a partnership between the department and the DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival.

“This raised suspicions and disappointment in that the MEC prioritized wining and dining while communities are in dire need of proper sporting facilities and equipment.”

“We call on Gauteng Premier, David Makhura to initiate an urgent forensic investigation into this partnership between the department and the DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival.”

The DA claims that it will also table questions in the GPL to ascertain whether this festival was part of the department’s programme and was budgeted for, to ascertain whether proper procurement processes were followed and whether the MEC and her office had direct influence in this regard.

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