• Editor's note: This article is updated each time new information becomes available.
JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Arts and Culture paid a total of R593,622.29 in the 2011/12 financial year for construction work on Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s former home in the Free State, to be converted into a museum.
Government on Monday embarked on a site visit to Madikizela-Mandela’s dilapidated former house in Brandfort.
Deputy Arts and Culture Minister Maggie Sotyu met various government representatives to find out why the project never got off the ground.
The structure, which was meant to be turned into a museum over a decade ago, housed Madikizela-Mandela and her youngest daughter, Zinzi, after she was banished to the town in May 1977 by the apartheid government.
But 40 years later, the home Madikizela-Mandela lived in for nine years was a far cry from a renovated museum.
Millions were reportedly pledged to the project over the years, but the structure remained little more than an empty shell, used by criminals.
Irwin Langeveld, a director at the Department of Arts and Culture, said R117,000 was paid to the contractor and R476,000 to the appointed architect in the 2011/12 financial year.
Langeveld said the department was in discussions to immediately provide the site with 24-hour security, as it continued to explore how to revive project.
It was revealed that a 2015 Gobodo forensic audit found irregularities in the department's running of the project through the Independent Development Trust.
The department further stated that all IDT-driven projects were therefore halted, as government terminated its relationship with the trust due to non-delivery and poor accountability.
Sotyu said she wanted women contractors appointed when the Winnie Museum project resumed.