Robben Island report welcomed, but more transparency needed


Cape Town – Standing committee on cultural affairs and sport chairperson Reagen Allen (DA) has welcomed the findings of an independent investigation into mismanagement at the Robben Island Museum (RIM) but remains concerned by the minimal level of transparency that was displayed throughout the process.

Last June, the State Attorney appointed MacRobert Attorneys to assess and investigate the allegations of mismanagement and provide the RIM Council with a written report of legal advice as to whether there were any prima facie grounds to take steps, disciplinary or otherwise, against any official of RIM.

Allen said: “It is only due to constant pressure that has led to the releasing of an executive summary of the report into mismanagement at the RIM, but we have many unanswered questions.

“We hope that the executive summary will give the public an idea as to what is happening at the RIM and we further note that there will be a disciplinary hearing into two officials.”

In April this year Allen called for the report to be made public.

The year-long independent investigation has resulted in only one adverse finding, amid 22 allegations initially investigated.

RIM council chairperson Khensani Maluleke said: “It was always the intention of the council to make the findings of the report and the resultant actions public.

“In terms of the additional allegations which were investigated, we are happy to report that the independent investigation found no basis for further action, as there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations.

“Due to the ongoing disciplinary process and out of respect for the RIM employees concerned, potential witnesses and the integrity of the disciplinary process as a whole, no further information can responsibly be provided at this stage.”

Welcoming the report, Ex-Political Prisoners Association (EPPA) secretary Mpho Masemola said: “In the true interests of transparency, openness, full accountability and good governance, nothing less than full disclosure of this and the other reports into how Robben Island Museum is managed will satisfy the public’s need to know what exactly has been happening at their cultural historical site.”

RIM spokesperson Siphuxolo Mazwi said the report also made recommendations to the RIM council to remedy certain shortcomings within the museum’s various departments which became apparent during the course of the investigation.

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Cape Argus

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