'R8-million stolen from Living Legends fund,' says acting chair Letta Mbulu
Letta Mbulu, veteran singer and chairperson of government's Living Legends Legacy Programme (LLLP), told journalists at a press conference on Monday that R8-million had been stolen from the organisation.
The organisation was launched by the Department of Arts and Culture to empower young artists and look after music veterans in the industry.
Ma Letta said that five days ago they were notified that money which was deposited into the trust fund had been stolen. She added that the money was taken from the time the trust began.
"We have just recently discovered that the money that was put in the trust for the legends is missing. We found this out five days ago and we took steps immediately to report the matter to the police."
She confirmed that a case had been opened and that the organisation's leadership had met with FNB to find out where the money had gone.
"We were given a case number and we also met with the higher ups within FNB bank this morning (Monday) to see how far their investigation is."
Letta claimed that the bank's bosses told them they were able to trace the money but she declined to comment further on the matter.
"They have told us that they are able to see exactly where the money went, and that is how far they have gone with the investigation."
The Living Legends Legacy Programme, which was founded by arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa in 2015 received money from, among others, the Department of Arts and Culture to run workshops to empower young talent trying to break into the industry.
Ma Letta said planned workshops would continue but many of the organisation's other programmes would not go ahead until an investigation into the missing money was done.
She added that the money would affect those people that needed to be paid for their services.
Arts and Culture Director General Vusumuzi Mkhize said that despite the theft, the department was committed to supporting the legends and a further R12-million was still earmarked for the programme's trust.