The DA informed and forwarded the report on serious allegations to the Minister of Defence & Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and the Secretary of Defence, Dr Sam Gulube, to urgently call for a full forensic investigation into the board of the Castle of the Good Hope in Cape Town following allegations of extensive corruption.
These allegations came to my attention and I compiled a report that can be accessed here.
It is disheartening that such a historical monument, has been possibly plagued by corruption due to gross mismanagement as its highest levels.
A range of serious allegations have been made concerning the facility including:
- financial irregularities, such as the inexplicable expenditure of R3 million on maintenance on the heels of a R110 million refurbishing at the Castle;
- procurement corruption, such as the awarding of a R5 million tender to a service provider who did not meet the mandatory requirements;
- dereliction of duty, in particular by senior management;
- the theft of priceless artifacts from the Chinese Government exhibition, equipment, confidential documents; and
- irregular labour practices and victimization of employees.
This historic entity falls directly under the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans and Minister Mapisa-Nqakula should ensure a thorough investigation is conducted and those implicated are held accountable.
To this end, the DA has provided the Portfolio Committee with the dossier and will demand a full forensic audit of the heritage site.
The DA will not sit idly by while the Department of Defence & Military Veterans allows our monuments to descend into ruins due to possible corruption.
~ Shahid Esau, Shadow Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. Built between 1666 and 1679, the castle replaced a small clay and timber fort built by Commander Jan van Riebeeck in 1652, upon establishing a maritime replenishment station at the Cape of Good Hope for the Dutch East India Company (VOC).
The main reason for building the castle was to provide protection to the new settlement. Therefore, it was built in accordance with 17th century European principles of fortification, comprising five strong bastions that allowed the outside walls to be protected by cross-fire.
Construction on the Castle of Good Hope was complete on the 26 April 1679, and the five bastions were named after the main titles of Willem, the Prince of Orange. The Western bastions was named Leerdam; followed in clockwise order by Buuren, Catzenellenbogen, Nassau and Orange.
From 1678, the castle was the centre of civilian, administrative and military life at the Cape, until the settlement grew and some functions and activities moved away from the Castle.
Today the Castle is the seat of the military in the Cape, and houses the Castle Military Museum and Iziko Museums Cape Town (William Fehr Collection).