Acclaimed director and playwright Welcome Msomi is being kept in custody after he appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with R8m stolen from the Living Legends Legacy Programme.
Msomi, 76, a trustee, was arrested in Durban over the weekend by the Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation unit following a probe into the millions allegedly stolen from the programme earlier this year.
“He is expected to appear in the same court on April 2 with legal representation,” Hawks spokesperson Lloyd Ramovha said.
The programme was launched in 2015 by the Department of Arts and Culture to honour “living legends” in the arts, culture and heritage sector.
The siphoning and alleged theft of the money were revealed during a media briefing held by its committee in January.
After the arrest, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said a theft on such a grand scale was in itself “atrocious”.
“But that this theft has occurred against this nation’s ‘living legends’, our living treasures – whom the Department of Arts and Culture is supporting precisely because as a nation we owe them so much – leaves me in shocked disbelief,” Mthethwa said in a statement at the time.
His department would “continue to engage” with the bank involved as it “absolutely has to account as to how a bank account that is subject to stringent controls in addition to existing strict banking regulations could be compromised in this manner”, he said.
“We will not rest until we have all the answers we seek including relief in the form of recovery of monies lost.”
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Publish date : 2019-03-19 05:07:17