Sisulu doesn’t need to explain R22m spending

2009-11-26 09:47

Former Housing Minister Lindiwe Sisulu does not need to explain how

a R22 million Sarafina-style theatre production was arranged, her spokesperson

said on Wednesday.

“To call on the former Minister of Housing to explain the costs and

the play is sensational and politicking that is not necessary,” said Sisulu’s

spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya.

Sisulu was responding to a call by a Democratic Alliance MP for the

expenditure over the theatre production to be investigated by the Auditor

General.

A parliamentary reply from Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale

revealed on Tuesday that the theatre production, for the human settlements

department in the 2008/09 financial year, cost R22 569 656 over three phases of

production.

The DA’s Butch Steyn said the R22 million costs contributed

significantly to the enormous 195 percent overspend of the department’s

advertising budget in 2008/09.

“The Auditor General also needs to look into the award of this

tender, since we are dealing with such an enormous overspend.We need to identify

who was responsible for sanctioning it.”

Sisulu, as the former housing minister, must have known about the

expenditure, he said.

In response Mabaya said that the DA’s call for “Sisulu to explain

the costs” could be seen as ignorant.

“It would be easy to dismiss this call as ignorance of the DA

member of Parliament Mr Steyn on how government works. But we will provide him

with free education to avoid the confusion,” said Mabaya.

“Every government department has a communications section, this

communications section has a budget and a programme approved and it is their

daily function to implement their programmes whether there is a minister or

not.

“It is not the responsibility of the minister to implement

communications campaigns and to approve budgets for those campaigns,” he

said.

Chris Vick, the special adviser to Tokyo Sexwale, said the Sexwale

was not in a position to comment specifically on the expenditure.

Sexwale had, however, promised his management and staff “not to

allow expenditure of this sort”.

“The production in question is no longer running, and the Minister

of Human Settlements has specifically stated to his management and staff: ‘This

sort of expenditure will not happen on my watch’,” Vick said.

 

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