The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) takes a dim view of the recently published media release headlined “LILIESLEAF CLOSES INDEFINITELY”, issued under the name of Nicholas Wolpe, founder and CEO of Liliesleaf Trust.
DSAC has funded Liliesleaf in the range of R70 million, over a period of 13 years. For the 2020/2021 financial year, an additional R1,8 million was budgeted for the trust. All this is being done against an understanding of the historical significance and contribution of Liliesleaf to the liberation of our country.
In 2015 DSAC entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Liliesleaf Trust to upgrade and enhance the facilicity’s exhibition infrastructure. Based on this contract of R9 million, a first tranche of R8,1 million was transferred to the trust. The remaining R900 000 could not be honoured due to failure of Liliesleaf Trust to account on the initial payment of R8,1 million. An obligation spelt out in the MoA between DSAC and Liliesleaf Trust. In terms of PFMA Section 38, government cannot continue funding an institution that fails to account for public funds that it receives from government.
Consequently, on the 4th of May 2021 DSAC, led by Minister Nathi Mthethwa, escalated the failure of the CEO to report and account for the R8.1 million to the Liliesleaf Board, led by former President Kgalema Motlanthe. The Board committed to do a forensic investigation into the matter and report back to DSAC. The Department is still awaiting feedback from the board in this regard.
Liliesleaf Trust is ineligible to receive yearly operational funds from DSAC since the site has not been designated as a Declared Cultural Institution under the Cultural Institutions Act and a Schedule 3 A Public Entity under the PFMA. Numerous suggestions in this regard by government have not been found favourable by the trust. However, they refused to be declared, preferring to remain independent and self- sufficient.
Masechaba Khumalo: Spokesperson (Minister), Cell: 082 858 4415 | E-mail: MasechabaK@dsac.gov.za
Mickey Modisane: Chief Director Marketing and Communications | 082 992 0101 | Email: MickeyM@dsac.gov.za
Issued by the National Department of Sport, Arts and Culture