Madonsela clears Mbalula

By Drum Digital
30 March 2015

There was no impropriety regarding the many trips undertaken by Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula and his deputy, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Monday.

"While minister Mbalula and Deputy Minister [Gert Oosthuizen] spent an amount close to the alleged R2.7 million, I found no evidence indicating that any of the flights were undertaken improperly and outside the mandate of the department," Madonsela told reporters in Pretoria.

"The allegation that minister Mbalula and deputy minister Oosthuizen improperly caused the department to incur excessive transport costs for international and domestic flights was not substantiated by evidence."

Madonsela investigated claims, made in 2012, that Mbalula caused the sport department to spend R747,410 for 16 international flights, excluding 224 domestic flights, for himself since April 2010.

Oosthuizen allegedly spent about R1.1m for 105 flights from April 1, 2010.

The complaints were lodged by Democratic Alliance sport spokesman Winston Rabotapi.

In her report titled "The Cost of Travel", Madonsela said she had found no specific yardstick for measuring whether international and domestic flights could be categorised as excessive, as government officials were mandated to "exercise discretionary powers".

-SAPA

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