Xingwana denies Travelgate allegations
Johannesburg - Minister Lulu Xingwana denied allegations that she was part of the so-called Travelgate scandal, the department of women, children and people with disabilities said on Saturday.
"The allegations that...Minister Xingwana owes any money to Parliament as a result of misuse of Parliament’s travel vouchers are false," department spokesperson Sibani Mngadi said.
The scandal which involved the alleged abuse of travel vouchers by members of Parliament came to light in the early 2000s.
In July the Eastern Cape High Court ordered Parliament to give the Centre for Social Accountability (CSA) access to schedules one and two of the sales of the travel claims agreement which were concluded in 2009.
This agreement allowed Parliament to buy, at taxpayers' expense, claims which were being pursued by the liquidators of Bathong Travel against MPs implicated in the scandal.
The documents included the names of the MPs as well as the claims against them.
In 2008 the Mail & Guardian reported that Xingwana owed over R54 800 to the agency.
Mngadi said Xingwana contacted Parliament to confirm the figures when the allegations began, but was turned away.
She tried again this week, but did not receive a response, he said.
She was also allegedly told by Bathong that there was no information suggesting misuse of vouchers and there was no money owed by her to the agency or Parliament.
Secretary to Parliament Zingile Dingani on Monday said the individuals named in the schedules were not criminally culpable.
"In many instances members were not even aware that the travel agent has used their names to commit fraud against Parliament," he said.