Gwede Mantasha statue

Photo: GCIS

Gwede Mantashe grilled over ‘missing’ statue worth R6 million

A monument dedicated to ‘fallen miners’ has been missing for three years. Now, Gwede Mantashe has been asked to explain the suspect million-rand deal.

Gwede Mantasha statue

Photo: GCIS

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has been presented with a bombshell question in Parliament this week, after the DA probed the ANC stalwart on his knowledge of a missing statue worth R6 million.

Gwede Mantashe slammed for ‘suspicious monument payments’

Shadow Deputy Minister Cheryl Philips submitted an oral question to Mantashe last month, raising a slew of suspicions about the project which was set to commemorate ‘fallen miners’ with its installation at the Newtown Cultural Precinct. Due to be unveiled at the Johannesburg site at the end of 2017, the monument was never built.

Philips brought the receipts with her, contesting that the missing monument is mired in a sea of dodgy dealings:

  • The contract for R4.8 million between the Mine Health and Safety Council and CulArt Productions was signed on 18 October 2017.
  • The payments were set to be staggered over a period of 30 months.
  • However, CulArt received its first payment of R444 600 a month before any contract was signed.
  • It’s understood that CulArt has been paid R6 295 950.46 – without a sign of the memorial statue’s existence.

Minister told to ‘spill the beans’

The DA representative has vented her anger at both the minister and the Cul Art department, questioning why the cost of the uncompleted project ballooned by almost R1.5 million. With nothing to show for these flagged payments, Philips has demanded a swift and honest response from Gwede Mantashe:

“The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, has yet to answer an oral parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance (DA) on 7 August 2020 regarding the whereabouts of a monument to fallen miners commissioned by the Mine Health and Safety Council, or installation in the Newtown Cultural Precinct.”

“The contract between the council and CulArt originally stated that ‘services must be rendered and completed’ within two months. Minister Mantashe must also answer why CulArt received payment before the contract was signed – or why the project that should have been completed in 2017 has, to date, cost 30% more than the original contract.”

Cheryl Philips