Correctional services rubbishes 'freebie' trip claims

2011-03-27 17:11

Johannesburg - Correctional services on Sunday dismissed a report that Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula forced herself onto the guest list of a two-week UN gender summit, but failed to attend any of the sessions where she was supposed to represent SA.

The Sunday Times reported that Mapisa-Nqakula and the delegates stayed at five-star hotels, including the exclusive Ritz Carlton on Central Park, where prices start at R5 500 a night.

"During this time Minister Mapisa-Nqakula never stayed at the Ritz Hotel on Central Park as claimed by the Sunday Times," the department's spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga said in a statement.

"The reasons why Minister Mapisa-Nqakula would not have been able to attend many of the UN Summit's sessions were also explained to the Sunday Times... but they chose to ignore these."

The 49-member delegation, which included three ministers, five deputies, three MPs and 38 other government officials - the largest delegation of any country - were sent to attend the 55th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in late February and early March.

The South Africans included Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana, who led the group, Mapisa-Nqakula, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and deputy ministers Elizabeth Thabethe of trade and industry, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu of public works, Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu, her health counterpart Gwen Ramokgopa and Deputy Higher Education Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize.

Size of delegation

According to The Sunday Times Mapisa-Nqakula failed to attend any of the sessions.

All members of the delegation flew on return business class tickets on SAA at a cost of R81 104 per person. The South African mission at the United Nations had complained to the international relations department about the size of the delegation.

The SA UN embassy was reportedly particularly irked by Mapisa-Nqakula who, despite forcing her way onto the guest list, failed to attend a single session of the two-week summit, according to the Sunday Times.

Mbananga said it was not possible for Mapisa-Nqakula to attend every session of the summit, as she had officially gone on a study tour of prison security with her New York counterparts.

"The minister is busy with the business of correctional services and that's what she was there for... ."

Mbananga said Mapisa-Nqakula had received permission from President Jacob Zuma to undertake the New York trip.

He showed The Sunday Times a copy of the letter signed by an official in Zuma's office granting her permission for the prisons study tour.

The letter, however, stipulates Mapisa-Nqakula would "take advantage" of the tour to attend the summit.


A government official on the trip told the Sunday Times most members of the South African delegation who did not make it into the conference venue spent their time shopping and clubbing in New York.

Correctional services said it had never received any complaint regarding the minister's stay in New York.

"Also it would not have been possible for the SA's ambassador to the UN to have made such a complaint, as the ambassador was always aware of Minister Mapisa-Nqakula's whereabouts and purpose of her presence in the State of New York as Minister Mapisa-Nqakula's study tour to that State was co-ordinated by South Africa's Consul General in New York," the statement read.

  • Martin du Plessis - 2011-03-27 17:25


      k1dbl4ck - 2011-03-27 18:43

      "The 49-member delegation, which included three ministers, five deputies, three MPs and 38 other government officials - the largest delegation of any country"... Just add a clown suit and all you can eat fried chicken buffet, and you may just be the laughing stock of the world... oh sorry.. too late.

      Leeutjie - 2011-03-27 21:37

      Robnob When the taxpayer is paying, everything is for free. She could eat at the Ritz it still would be free. In fact i think the food at these summits was not to her high standard, she ate in all these other posh places to up that backside a bit.

      lakhan7 - 2011-03-27 21:39

      Hello SA people ...lets all not pay tax for 2012? I hope this incident , DOES not , start a tax boycott .

      Leeutjie - 2011-03-27 21:58

      There is no way the employee can withold his tax. The employer is bound by law to deduct our tax. Pity though because it would have been ideal to bankrupt these fu(kers.

  • Slapper - 2011-03-27 17:25

    AAH the old Gravy train! much better than the Blue train.. Eish we entitled to grab what we can

  • SimonP - 2011-03-27 17:27

    Allegation = she didnt attend ANY sessions. Her spokesperson = "not possible for Mapisa-Nqakula to attend EVERY session of the summit". If she had attended sessions surely the spokesperson would have said so, it would appear theyve been caught out again.

  • Ray Webber - 2011-03-27 17:35

    Caught out again, but it makes no difference. The Gravy Train keeps getting longer and longer...

      Uncle Spud - 2011-03-28 22:30

      The "Gravy Train" is the most important vehicle for the ANC. Without it there would be no (Darkie) government. Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie, it is my RIGHT. Poor SA, such sadness befalls her and her offspring

  • exocist - 2011-03-27 17:35

    eish mahala holiday in new york lets take the whole kraal with ,i suppose the chicken cages they were all tied up on da boeings roof bunch of monkey's and zombies

  • M.A.Patel.SA - 2011-03-27 17:38

    Where there is smoke, there is fire!!

  • Martin - 2011-03-27 17:41

    Wast of tax money.

  • Mundu - 2011-03-27 17:41

    Another ANC boondoggle at tax payers expense.

  • Brieuse - 2011-03-27 17:42

    At least another R7.5 million rand gone. This is while the average middle class is struggling and their voters in general are living on or below the breadline.

      Bandit - 2011-03-28 12:50

      Yup, 4% of South African population pays 90% of the tax. Read this in Pretoria news the other day. Personal income tax is around 35% of the government's income. The rest is divided up between VAT and company tax. And I bet you the middle class doesn't vote for the ANC but pay all the tax - I think only taxpayers should be allowed to vote.

      Bandit - 2011-03-28 12:58

      Yeah and Zuma approved this trip. That's a classic example of making the wolf guard the sheep.

  • Dprika - 2011-03-27 17:45

    And another example of how the ANC is wasting my hard earned money!!!!!!!!!!!!! It will NEVER change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Eric West - 2011-03-27 18:30

      Time for a tax boycott? They can't put 5 million taxpayers in prison, can they? ;)

      50something - 2011-03-27 18:50

      Agree - let's withold our tax money and stop this gravyplane until they learn how to deal with OUR money. Guess they are too fat to fit into economy class seats. What value can 49 deligates bring to a conference?? This is BS!!!!!!!

      AJ - 2011-03-28 12:47

      @Eric West: They can put a few thousand behind bars though! Whose volunteering to lose their job and take one for the team?

  • exocist - 2011-03-27 17:48

    eish it's the prisongate scandle

  • Madelane - 2011-03-27 17:52

    The dishonesty is so deep seated with these people in "government" that there is little hope for this country I am afraid.

      SimonP - 2011-03-27 18:08

      Madelane, its not only deep seated I actually believe these people do not realise that thet are doing anything wrong. Its almost as if as soon as you get the big job you have a license to do whatever you want with no accountability.

  • YES - 2011-03-27 17:56

    It would be interesting to know minister Colins Chabane's reaction to the story as he is suppose to monitor performance minister's performance - I suppose even on official trips both within and outside the country.

  • G0ldf!nger - 2011-03-27 17:59

    Dear ANC. My sister in London just had a baby. Please could I become an MP as I desperately want to visit her and fly First Class. Also, while I am there I will "take advantage" of the trip to do some government work. (Whatever that is these days)

      Thandi - 2011-03-27 19:14

      Government work in London could include essential activities like shopping at Harrods, dining at the OXO Tower, staying at the Dorchester - you would then be a prime candidate for immunity from accountability like the rest of the ANCorruption clowns.

  • maggielou - 2011-03-27 18:02

    She's the same useless, incompetent person who left Home Affairs in a mess. Anywhere else she would have been fired but no, Zuma knows something that he does not want us to know. Of course the anc will deny it and find excuses for why things were not as is written in the press. Big question is: WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT??? We have to start protesting so that the ignorant can become aware of the huge amounts that get squandered and we should demand an explanation as well as PAY BACK of the misappropriated funds!

      Eric West - 2011-03-27 18:28

      We are going to vote for the DA! That's what we are going to do about it!

      Mundu - 2011-03-27 19:05

      Zuma is protecting her because he is doing her.

      Saamprater - 2011-03-28 07:04

      You can start protesting with your vote, andf make sure 10 other people that feel like you also protest with their votes.

  • scud - 2011-03-27 18:04

    No difference-millions of rands of taxpayers money was spent on an unnecessary junket,so that ministers,their deputies and ANC parliamentarians could continue fleecing us in an orgy of corrupt entitlement.It is sickening.Zuma's government is a disgrace to Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu's ANC

  • Old dog - 2011-03-27 18:07

    May be that "Dear" lady went to see how jails look like, so, she can be acquainted with.

  • Jameslast - 2011-03-27 18:08

    Unbelievable how we are robbed by these gravy train riders.A waste of money while people starve. Shame shame shame , business class for all and five star hotels a disgrace.Opposition must blow the lid off this feeding frenzy. The minister most probably was out sightseeing and shopping.

  • SimonP - 2011-03-27 18:15

    All 49 members of the delegation should submit copies of their government credit cards for the 2 week period. I bet this would cause pandemonium and all manner of spin to cover up the 1000's blown on clubbing.

  • Lucky9 - 2011-03-27 18:23

    What a f........................cking waste of money.

  • onetickie - 2011-03-27 18:26

    5 star hotels and business class airline travel. Time the world boycotted SA delegates from entering their countries and more especially its a pity that money is the Almighty Power for most people worldwide otherwise those stores & clubs should have banned them. I guess they will get an award of honour from the zoo-ma. These sub IQ assholes should try asking people they meet abroad what their opinion is of SA's ANC government and its ANC appointed officials. They would find out they're regarded as a bunch of twats but as they have such low IQ the replies would not register.

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-03-27 18:50

      Bad Command or File Name C:\>_

  • Eric West - 2011-03-27 18:27

    This obese ousie stuffed up Home Affairs. Then she stuffed up Correctional Services. I guess she is due a bonus holiday - as per standard ANC protocol? OMG, can you see her "clubbing"? The other patrons must have thought the place had been invaded by a land whale!! LOL!

      exocist - 2011-03-27 20:02

      she should change her name to masiwe paar holle

  • 50something - 2011-03-27 18:42

    I cannot afford to take a much needed annual holiday and they spend MY hard earned tax money in this way - F$%k them all, including you Zuma who authoraised this. Guess you can't refuse either because you are never in the coundry, lot of a#$holes!

  • Coffeeor Me - 2011-03-27 18:43

    So sad when the people who govern the country can not own up to wrong doing. Do they think the citizens of this country are uneducated moorons?. No wonder the government want to launch their own newspaper, to further surpress our enquiring journalists. Did I hear the Zimbabwean National Anthem playing in the back ground???.

      50something - 2011-03-27 18:56

      That is exactly why they want to regulate the media, because thay are embarrasing themselves so frequently and there is no transparency. Time to vote them out.

  • Thandi - 2011-03-27 19:07

    Viva Anarchy Nepotism Corruption. Eish, this ride on the gravy train is fun!

      Heks - 2011-03-27 19:23

      Gravy PLANE not train Thandi. Ha Ha Ha

  • MX2 - 2011-03-27 19:09

    I am just as angry, disgusted & frustrated as everyone else at the excesses indulged in by Govt officials, however unless all these comments on the News24 forums are forwarded & copied to the Auditor General or other Govt watchdog, it is all just a lot of hot air & we are all wasting our breath & energy. We need to turn words into action. And don’t expect your Ward councillors to fight for your cause because they are all in politics to enjoy cushy jobs. Parasites.

      Heks - 2011-03-27 19:24

      Agree MX2. Whether our ward councillors are ANC, DA, FF or IFP they are all the same. Sit on their jacks and collect their pay!

  • hardereen - 2011-03-27 19:15

    Africa is the laughing stock of the world ....

  • Heks - 2011-03-27 19:17

    A message to all 49 , stop wasting MY money! Who am I. I am a taxpayer. Stay at home and do some work. You are employed by the taxpayer. We are paying you handsomely every month to do Zultch!!!!!

  • Heks - 2011-03-27 19:21

    We had a mayor in the town where I live who also went on an overseas jaunt paid for by the ratepayer. She too went shopping when she was supposed to be attending other official events. She came back with a suitecase FULL of wigs. (I even think the ratepayers had to pay for the excess baggage charges.)

  • porra 1 - 2011-03-27 19:25

    filhos das ppppppppppppppppppppuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutttttttttttttttttttttttttaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

      MX2 - 2011-03-27 19:42

      get an education. learn the alphabet. learn how to spell. jerk.

      Wolff - 2011-03-27 20:21

      No MX2, you are the jerk. Go check the meaning of Putas before you try to be clever again.......IDIOT.

  • pieter.botha - 2011-03-27 20:25


      Heks - 2011-03-27 20:48

      Pieter. Die hele klomp is diewe. En hulle vlieg besigheids klas nogal. Die tyd het aangebreek waar ons vir hulle moet se so ver en niks verder nie, maar ons is te wit daarvoor of te papbroek!

  • maseratifitt - 2011-03-27 21:07

    The majority of voters would probably never hear about this, and if they did, they might not see how these things affect them directly. But many will still vote for the ANC. If I were an ANC member, I wouldn't know how to hide my shame.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-03-27 21:25

    I'm so the moer in I forgot to add this: 1) We know enough about gender issues. It is time for action. For instance: in our country and neighbouring states there are still people abducting and raping young women. 2) If somebody really had to go, ONE person surely is enough! 3) There are books and the internet. If we really want to know more, we can just READ. We can also get literature from the UN without actually going to New York. JUST DO YOUR F$#@$NG JOBS!!!

  • VuyosWors - 2011-03-27 22:11

    This fat revolting whale of a woman should be harpooned and melted down for lard.

  • Macho Mike - 2011-03-27 23:13

    Mapisa-Nqakula could not attend every session of the summit, as she had officially gone on a study tour of prison security with her New York counterparts. Should have kept the gravy train robber locked up.

  • Monica - 2011-03-27 23:36

    If I lived in a paid for R34million home; I would never leave it except for going to work!!!

  • Saamprater - 2011-03-28 06:59

    Please, send more of them to the USA in order for them to, first hand experience service, and non-racialism. Send all of them for that matter if it will help. Come to think of it, I will even pay for them to go. Oh wait, sorry. I'm already paying. Hope they have learned something though

  • Robert - 2011-03-28 08:05

    This is just what we have come to expect - everybody has to go and "kangela" - The Taxman is paying so we can go balistic. Great 2 week vacation. I suppose this is the norm these days. She probably met with the Mafia to get her paybacks for letting so many prisoners escape !!!

  • Michele Holland - 2011-03-28 08:06

    How absolutely typical. And so good to see our tax rands hard at work. This is tantamount to theft, and these criminals should be dealt with like any other common thief.

  • Mad Hatter - 2011-03-28 08:50

    Do the math , just the flights and accomodation alone cost just short of R8m , thats 200 homes (@40k)they could have built .

  • Dids - 2011-03-28 08:52

    Its not the goverment paying for these shopping spree's but you the tax payer......chuck on the SA gravy train....

  • one-way - 2011-03-28 09:19

    Fat Cats!!!! AREN`T THEY??? Cats on the Roof Tops, Cats on the tiles, Cats with syphilis, Cats with piles. Cats with arseholes bigger by miles, As they revel in the joys of fornication! (That`s to screw you and me,as we, keep topping up the coffers)

  • TimStorm - 2011-03-28 09:52

    R3,974,096.00 just for flights!!! My word - what a waste of money! I can't believe this! What did this delegation contribute to the event and what have they brought back to SA that will benefit our country? Once again the tax payer is the big looser here! - 2011-03-28 10:17

      Jacob Zuma is a big spender of Tax payer money so he lets his Ministers spend just like he does, after all it is not their money. In business if you go on a trip at company expense a report has to be submitted to the Board of Directors as well as to Auditors for tax purposes. Now why dont these idiots have to submit a report on their findings and advise the tax payers the reason for the expense. In fact JZ has no control of his cabinet and lets them do as they please.

      Kahki Boshoff - 2011-03-28 10:32

      There's a zulu on our SARS stoep!

      maseratifitt - 2011-03-28 11:34

      If only more voters (employers) can think like you, Tim and Andrew. Before embarking on a trip abroad, the employee should clearly state what the objectives are, the (quantified) expected outcome, as well as the estimated cost. This should then be submitted to the Public Protector for approval, and, if approved, published in the open media for the employer (us) to see. Then there should be a follow up to determine the actual outcome.

  • The Observer - 2011-03-28 12:31

    So what else is new. No news here, this is normal. Part of the package. If you work for the the anc, in gov or not you, are entitled to at least two free shopping trips(holidays) anywhere in the owrld paid for by the tax pot. I mean the pot is like the Lepricaun's, just rub his belly and the pot is full.

  • Bandit - 2011-03-28 12:55

    R81 000 for a business class ticket? That's about how much tax I pay each year. Pravin Gordhan I want my money back!

  • Richie - 2011-03-28 13:25

    Pathetic, why cant they (the ANC) just put their hands up & kick some ass. Why? Because this fish is rotten from the head to the tail... so sad. SA deserves better!

  • Hardtalk - 2011-03-29 06:33

    How much can we spend of tax payers money, lets all have a great time and a wonderful USA holiday - stuff the voters they are just idiots and we do what every we like we are GODS.

  • Hardtalk - 2011-03-29 06:35

    He people that vote ANC deserve all they get and it will never change, just like the story Animal farm.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-03-29 06:55

    I hope all you bugger complaining here is registered to VOTE!

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-19 18:26

    another shopping spree by the bloated incompetent comrades. No wonder budgets and service levels can not be met. I guess,travelling to the USA and stuffing the round faces with KFC takes priority. Well then,Jacob said it was ok -- guess he planned a party in the USA.