COSATU Free State welcomes the Brandfort Museum arrests

The Congress of South African Trade Unions(COSATU) in the Free State welcomes the arrest of six suspects allegedly implicated in the misappropriation of funds allocated to the refurbishment of the Winnie Mandela House Museum in Majwemasweu, Brandfort.

COSATU has repeatedly questioned the lack of updates and the availability of information pertaining to the implementation of this project. The refurbishment of the museum has been announced and launched several times and to date there are no tangible benefits to the community from the project. Similarly to the Federation, the community demands answers and a thorough explanation of what attributed to the non-fulfilment of this project’ promises.

We appreciate that the law will allow the suspects an opportunity to reveal pertinent details in court, which will unravel the secrecy that has covered an initiative which was not only intended for the preservation of our history, but also for the creation of employment and ultimately, the upliftment of the community. The law will make a determination for appropriate sanctions to be imposed against those found guilty. We are looking forward to hearing the truth behind the failure of the project to gain traction and to benefit the community of Majwemasweu in the process.

In August, delegates from the Federation and the South African Democratic Teachers Union(SADTU) embarked on a programme where a site visit to the premises took place. We were shocked at the state of disrepair of the museum. The level of deterioration of the museum is shameful and it is a disgrace that for years, it stood in ruins.  We call on the provincial government to urgently make good on its promise to the community of Majwemasweu. Speedily correcting the delays of the refurbishment will unleash the economic potential of the project, for the community.

The conclusion of the plans for this museum will retain the rich history of the Winnie Mandela house for the next generations! We therefore cannot afford to discard and abandon these renovations and their purpose. Should we fall into that trap, history will judge us very harshly!

The struggle continues!

Issued by COSATU Free State

Enquiries Provincial Secretary Monyatso oa Mahlatsi @ 051 447 5499 or 076 115 9923