Tutu calls police over missing cash

BOESAK SCANDAL: Veteran campaigner tries to shrug off accusations he po cketed funds intended for children

Allan Boesak, the anti-apartheid campaigner, yesterday failed to explain the disappearance of nearly 3m rand (£540,000) in aid money, according to representatives of Scandinavian donors who met him for two hours at the Swedish embassy in Cape Tow n. Theysaid they would urge the police to investigate the matter.

Mr Boesak attacked the meeting as "a farce", saying he had not been allowed to defend himself, but his chances of taking up his post as ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva seemed doomed. Last month President Nelson Mandela suspended Mr Boesak's appointment until the outcome of a legal inquiry on behalf of a Danish group, DanChurch Aid. The report found he had "enriched himself substantially" by diverting funds earmarked for his Foundation for Peace and Justice to settle his wife's debts, buy a house, and maintain "an extensive travel budget". Mr Mandela's decision is expected after a briefing from his deputy, Thabo Mbeki, who was due to meet Mr Boesak later yesterday.

The former churchman was still insisting yesterday that he had done nothing wrong. "I was not given an opportunity to defend myself against allegations in the report," he said, adding that there was nobody to whom he owed an apology.

The controversy deepened with news that the head of the Anglican church in South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, had asked police to investigate the apparent disappearance of 423,000 rand from the Children's Trust donated by the singer Paul Simon. Mr Boesak's foundation administered the trust's funds.

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