Arts & culture department wants ‘full recovery’ of R8m stolen by Welcome Msomi

Welcome Msomi was convicted on 61 counts of theft at the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court. File photo.
Image: Sowetan / Veli Nhlapo

The department of sports, arts and culture has welcomed the news that acclaimed director and playwright Welcome Msomi has been found guilty of theft of R8m from the Living Legends Legacy Programme (LLLP).

Msomi, 76, a trustee of the programme, was convicted on 61 counts of theft at the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court on Tuesday.

“The department welcomes this ruling and awaits the sentence that will be imposed by the court on November 28 2019,” department spokesperson Asanda Magaqa said on Wednesday.

The Living Legends Legacy Programme was founded by sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa in 2015.

The programme sought to honour the living legends of the arts, culture and heritage sector, document their contribution and provide opportunities for interaction, training and imparting of skills to younger generations of artists.

The department had set aside R20m to help the programme in its mandate and objectives. Of the pledged R20m, R8m had been paid over to the committee of the Living Legends Trust, which had been set up to work on the planned programmes.

It was this R8m that was stolen by Msomi, who was arrested in Durban in March this year.

“The department wishes to note that while it considers justice to have been done in this matter, in the form of the conviction of Mr Msomi, this is not the end of the matter as far as it is concerned.

“The department is aware that the trustees of the LLLP will continue with the legal action, through the courts and collaborating with law enforcement institutions, to ensure full recovery of the funds stolen by Mr Msomi,” Magaqa said.

BY: ERNEST MABUZA

SOURCE: TMG DIGITAL

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