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Mkhwebane to inspect controversial R15m Lesseyton sports stadium in Komani

The Lesseyton sports facility in the Enoch Mgijima municipality. File photo.
The Lesseyton sports facility in the Enoch Mgijima municipality. File photo.
Image: Supplied

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and her deputy Kholeka Gcaleka will conclude their month-long countrywide stakeholder road show with a visit to the controversial Lesseyton sports facility in Komani in the Eastern Cape.

The modest facility in the the Enoch Mgijima municipality, opened less than a month before the local government elections last year, was in the spotlight after it emerged it cost a whopping R15m to construct.

A number of organisations were not impressed by the high cost, and the EFF opened a case against the municipality in October last year for alleged corruption. The EFF said the sports field was a basic facility without anything to justify the millions spent on its construction. 

The municipality defended the cost and said the project scope entailed electrical installation, environmental tests, palisade fencing, and construction of a guardhouse, changing rooms and steel grandstands, among other things.

On Thursday the public protector’s office said its provincial office in Bhisho is investigating alleged procurement irregularities relating to the construction of the sports facility.

Mkhwebane said she and Gcaleka, as part of the roadshow, will hold talks with Eastern Cape speaker of the provincial legislature Helen Mercedes Sauls-August, premier Oscar Mabuyane, MECs and members of traditional and Khoi-San leaders led by Nkosi Langa Mavuso at the legislature’s Raymond Mhlaba chamber.

The office said discussions will centre on the state of governance in the province as told through the public protector investigations, both pending and concluded, and the related issues of cooperation and compliance with investigations and remedial action.

The office said also under discussion will be the role of traditional leaders in municipal council meetings.

The office said the road show is a flagship outreach programme in which the institution engages parties interested in its work and fulfilment of its constitutional mandate to investigate, report on and remedy alleged or suspected improper conduct in all state affairs.

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