On Tuesday, 5 October, Mthethwa issued a statement through his spokeswoman Masechaba Ndlovu, in which he accused Mbuli of jumping on the bandwagon to attack his department.
Mthethwa claimed Mbuli received R12 million for various projects. Mbuli soon hit back, challenging Mthethwa to produce evidence of these projects.
“The money he’s referring to was for the Mzansi Poetry Academy and it wasn’t R12 million. I never received millions,” said Mbuli.
This is because the money went to the operations of the academy. As a matter of fact, I did not personally benefit.
“Nathi is obviously asking for war and I shall give it to him. I am calling upon Nathi to publicly disclose evidence of his allegations or I will take him to task. I have nothing to hide and I’m willing to put myself up for public scrutiny.”
Peter Mbuli, the former manager of the academy, confirmed it received money from the department. He said the academy in Joburg was in honour of Mzwakhe.
“It wasn’t R12 million as the minister alleges. Initially, we received R10,5 million and later, R1,1 million. The academy was started in 2016 but had to close down in 2018,” he said.
“This was because the department failed to honour its promises. One of the promises was to fund the academy until it could sustain itself.”
He said Mzwakhe received R50 000 a month. “We agreed that due to financial challenges, he would not get a salary but a monthly stipend of R50 000. This covered his monthly costs, including travelling expenses, marketing and everything else he did for the academy.
“The bulk of that money was used for operations, including administrative costs, payment of staff and renting the building.
“We paid R40 000 for rent and we still owe more than R500 000 because of that project,” he said.
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