Hotel figures wrong, minister says

2011-10-27 22:43
Cape Town - Officials who bungled a reply to a parliamentary question on hotel accommodation are in for the high jump, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Thursday.

"As a result of this bungle, I have now been cast as an extravagant minister who willy-nilly splurges on luxury using taxpayers' money, and has scant regard for the millions of South Africans who live in abject poverty," she said in a statement.

The written reply, tabled on Monday, showed Joemat-Pettersson had spent more than R1.58m - since April 1 2009 - on hotel accommodation, all while on "official duties".

Among the expenses listed was a bill for R289 352 from the Peermont D'Oreal Grande Emperor's Palace in Johannesburg, for accommodation between September 16 and October 21 2009.

There was another for R420 000 for a month-long stay at Pure Toys One CC, also in Johannesburg, during June and July last year.

But according to the statement on Thursday, issued by her department, "the entries provided... were about meetings that Joemat-Pettersson held in the hotels with stakeholders, where refreshments and food were served, over the past two-and-a-half years.

"She did not sleep in any of those hotels," it said.

The statement quotes the minister as saying the officials responsible for the mistake will face disciplinary action.

"The senior officials in the department must take full responsibility for the wrong information provided to my office to answer the parliamentary questions on this matter," she said.

"Disciplinary action will be taken against those officials who gave me incorrect information."

According to the statement, Joemat-Pettersson "initially stayed in a hotel before moving to guest houses when it became apparent that DPW [the department of public works] was in no rush to provide her with a house in Pretoria".

It offers no details of this stay.

"Ever since I was allocated official accommodation in Pretoria, I have never stayed in a hotel," she said.

Joemat-Pettersson said she would welcome any probe by the public protector into the matter.

Read more on:    tina joemat-pettersson  |  government spending

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.