Spies grilled over expenses

2014-07-03 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Credit card expenses of more than R17 000 in just less than a month.

Just under R9  million in fruitless and wasted expenditure over three years.

And more than R100 million irregularly spent …

These are the shocking amounts revealed by State Security Minister David Mahlobo during parliamentary session about his so-called spy budget yesterday.

Mahlobo answered that one L.N. Dova, a liaison officer in his department, had spent R17 186,63 between May 8 and June 4 this year with a Diners Club card, describing the expenses as “foreign intelligence liaison entertainment”.

The expenses include R3442,65 paid to the Cape Town Fish Market on June 4.

Mahlobo told Parliament the department had spent about R103 million irregularly between April 2010 and March 2013.

The largest amount was R86,166 million paid to tourism service providers with whom there were no contracts or service agreements in 2011-12.

Between April 2010 and March 2013, R8,935 million was declared as fruitless and wasted expenditure. Most of this amount (R8,395 million) comprised fines and interest paid for construction work to a building in 2010-2011.

But at least the spies did not spend any money on pot plants in this fiscus, compared to the Department of Science and Technology, which paid R90 000 in three months to have plants at the HSRC complex in Pretoria watered.

The spies did, however, spend more than R106 000 on plants between April 2011 and March 2013.

DA spokesperson in finance Dion George said he will ask for the credit card expenses to be investigated and pose more parliamentary questions about the spies’ expenses.

He said the former minister of ­Finance, Pravin Gordhan, had stipulated that government credit cards may only be used for travel, accommodation and cash expenses.

“Entertainment costs are not on this list,” George said.

He said the almost R109 million wasted “could have been better spent to improve the quality of service delivery”.

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