News24

Minister had nowhere to stay, dept says

2011-10-24 22:29

Cape Town - Criticism of Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson for luxury hotel stays is "cheap politicking", her department said on Monday.

"The minister was appointed in May 2009, and did not have official accommodation for more than a year," it said by way of explanation in a statement.

In a reply to a parliamentary question, tabled earlier, Joemat-Pettersson revealed she had spent R1 584 817.86 - since April 1 2009 - on hotel accommodation, all while on "official duties".

Her written reply to the question, posed by the Democratic Alliance, drew sharp criticism from the opposition party on Monday.

"The... reply revealed numerous long stays at hotels, bookings at five-star hotels, a high number of double-bookings (meaning that two different hotels were booked and paid for, for the same night) and a number of stays at hotels in Pretoria, despite the fact that the minister should have an official residence there," DA MP Lourie Bosman said in a statement.

Joemat-Pettersson's hotel bills were unjustifiable in a country where millions lived in poverty and did not have access to proper housing.

"Her spending habits are similar to those of many of her Cabinet colleagues, who seem intent on placing their expensive tastes above the needs of the South African people," he said.

Hotel expenses listed by Joemat-Pettersson in her reply include, among others:

- Over a month at the Vineyard Hotel and Spa in Cape Town during June and July 2009, at a cost of R134 735.86;

- Five weeks at the Peermont D'Oreal Grande Emperor's Palace in Johannesburg between September 16 and October 21 2009, at a total cost of R289 352; and,

- Close to a month spent at Pure Toys One CC in Johannesburg during June and July last year, at a total cost of R420 000.

In its reaction to the criticism on Monday, the department of agriculture said it was perturbed by what it called the DA's "grandstanding".

The DA had failed to explain the context of why Joemat-Pettersson had to be accommodated at hotels.

"The minister was appointed in May 2009 and did not have official accommodation for more than a year. The house that was allocated to the minister in Cape Town was sub-standard and had many chronic defects," the department said.

"During that period when the house was undergoing renovations, [the] minister had to be accommodated at a hotel to allow her to perform her official duties."

To label the minister's hotel accommodation unjustifiable, its suggesting she placed expensive tastes above the needs of the South African people, was "insulting, disingenuous and smacks of cheap politicking", the department said.

The R1.6m in hotel costs run up by the minister during her about 30 months in office were "justifiable given the prevailing circumstances at the time", the department said.

"The minister had to use alternative accommodation in accordance with the rules governing the official accommodation of ministers."

Comments
  • jacques.koorts - 2011-10-24 22:40

    That works out to R50,000 per month.

      Christo - 2011-10-24 23:41

      I am sorry, there will be no excuse good enough to let her of the hook. She is an intelligent woman and she should have known better. How the hell can she think it is ok to spend our money carelessly like this. We the taxpayers had enough, her head must roll. Finish and klaar.

      Christo - 2011-10-24 23:46

      Can we please have a thumbs up for news 24 to put up a vote for what should happen to this woman? Let the people have a say to what steps should be taken against her as it is our money that was spent wrecklessly.

      Shadho - 2011-10-25 00:58

      So irrespective of the R1.6 Million . What were the costs of the house repairs??? FIRE HER and whomever is responsible for houses and accommodation in Government. The Public Protector needs to investigate this department too,,grrr!!!

      Dirk - 2011-10-25 05:40

      Shame, the poor soul, the "campaigner for the poor", was destitute. She is not really a thief(sic)

      Joao - 2011-10-25 05:43

      She should be forced to go and live in a squatter camp for 13 months. The government could have built 18 RDP houses with the R1,6m that she stuffed into her own fat ass.

  • Jackie - 2011-10-24 22:45

    not the rule book excuse again, arent you guys capable of exercising rationale thought when dealing with tax payer's monies?

      Ann - 2011-10-25 08:30

      Perhaps it's time for the "rule book" to have a major overhaul that will make people accountable!

  • Karen - 2011-10-24 22:52

    Oh the dear darling! Another one who can't take mosquitos !! You are sickening! As Tutu said "WATCH OUT" !!!! Your time is coming! WATCH OUT! You are an abomination to the people of SA. You and your ilk will be dealt with as Gaddffi learned the hard way! Keep your sticky fingers to yourself!! WATCH OUT!!

  • evanknowles - 2011-10-24 22:54

    You mean the poor thing was forced to stay in 5 star hotels? :'O

  • Dave - 2011-10-24 23:10

    Where would she have stayed if she was paying it for he self? Please advise where has she slept over when she paid for herself. Her credit card debits will suffice. THIS IS NOT GOING TO GO AWAY. WE TAXPAYERS ARE FED UP WITH TROUGHISM!!!

      Albert - 2011-10-25 07:41

      And i suppose she is used to better.Kyk mooi girl,die beesmis sit nog tussen jou tone.

  • Clifton - 2011-10-24 23:30

    I can hardly wait to move to South Africa. Here in the USA only the President and Vice President are provided government housing. But, in SA even the MPs get free 5 star housing in the land of plenty. Even foreigners get RDP houses they can rent to South Africans for a profit. With such a small proportion of taxpayers, I have to ask: Where do you get all of the money?

      elmarie.olivier1 - 2011-10-24 23:56

      From the poor idiots who have to fork out most of their hard-earned pay each month on taxes. Look at the state of the country's hospitals, roads, infrastructure, instead of being canalised to these, they are canalised to the fat cats' pockets who don't care a hoot about anything or anybody except themselves.

  • Brian - 2011-10-24 23:31

    Where did she stay BEFORE she was appointed? As a SERVANT of the people who elected her, what gives her the right to stay in 5-star hotels? If she's doing her job right, she should be out and about, sorting out the agricultural problems in the country. She should be so knackered at the end of a busy day that a simple motel room should be sufficient.

      Shadho - 2011-10-25 00:51

      She and her whole department need to be investigated. Her heads of department live like Kings and Queens and earn ridiculous salaries as well and are never at the coal face ever!!... the DAFF is in a shambolic or virtually NON existent state of affairs and proof is available!!! There are so many Non Compliant products on the market it horrific and mortifying!!! Then she says there is NO BUDJET to deal with it,grrrr yet she does what she does!!!

  • elmarie.olivier1 - 2011-10-24 23:43

    Could a house not have been rented for her? And if they want to set a good example, what is wrong with a guest house, 3 or 4-star hotel? It's great spending money when it's not yours. These ministers get away with everything and never have to pay back anything even if found guilty. It's great to be in parliament!!

  • Mark - 2011-10-24 23:59

    Whats wrong with renting a house in the meantime, Golddigging trash

      Shadho - 2011-10-25 00:13

      As I said in a previous post. her and her department are rotten to the core, grrrrrrrr!!! How can the Government say BOTH the House's she was afforded was in a shambolic state.!!!

      Shadho - 2011-10-25 01:02

      So irrespective of the R1.6 Million . What were the costs of the house repairs??? FIRE HER and whomever is responsible for houses and accommodation in Government. The Public Protector needs to investigate this department too,,grrr!!!

  • Shadho - 2011-10-25 00:39

    What are her academic qualifications to even be a Minister of Agriculture??? If well qualified WHERE ARE HER MORALS, ETHICS, EMPATHY TO FELLOW CITIZENS AND HER SELF DIGNITY?? How dare the Government say BOTH her houses were basically shacks???..... and for so long,grrr!! Could they NOT rent?? BTW The R1.6m in hotel costs run up by the minister during her about 30 months in office were "justifiable given the prevailing circumstances at the time", the department said..... Are these Bills for herself alone or her whole Family, Friends, Comrades?? She entertaining at the expense of tax payers?? Mr Bosman take the DAFF to the Public Protector to resolve this scenario once again immediately. You would have thought they would have learnt from what happened today. Not to talk )(*&^%%$# DAFF YOU JUST FELL IN A WHOLE HEAP OF COW DUNG AGAIN!!!...FIRE WHOEVER POSTED THIS )(**&&^%.... and the Minister...grrr!!!!!

  • Maximus Odinidus - 2011-10-25 00:45

    What I would like to know is how the house was sub-standard and what the chronic defects were. Perhaps there should be some clarity on that. Time for the public protector to step in.

      Col - 2011-10-25 06:22

      I think the doorbell wasn't working !!

      Michael - 2011-10-25 06:44

      no bog roll -

      Heinrich - 2011-10-25 07:08

      The chronic defects : Underfloor heating not independently adjustable for left foot and right foot. Wall mirrors show obesity. Jacuzzi steps 0,05cm too high. Shower water too wet. Kitchen not automated.

  • Shadho - 2011-10-25 01:08

    So she was on official duty in Capetown and Pta / JHB only. WHAT THE HELL !! So she only does official duty in these towns. AND IN FIVE STAR HOTELS??? SHE DOESNT SPEND HER TIME OUT OF THE HOTELS. So if it was for sleeping mostly and 2 meals a day average. WE pay this amount of MONEY?? grrrr!!! NO Madam Minister you NOT getting away with it....goodbye sweetie pie...grrrrr!!!!

  • Du - 2011-10-25 02:10

    Waar is Zuma nou om korrupsie uit te roei? Dit is ALLes net oe"-verblindery.

  • BOKKOM - 2011-10-25 02:24

    Fire her.

  • pws69 - 2011-10-25 03:49

    Yup, over R12,000 a NIGHT for a hotel room is justifiable. Let them eat cake, hey Tina. (Close to a month spent at Pure Toys One CC in Johannesburg during June and July last year, at a total cost of R420 000.)

  • pws69 - 2011-10-25 03:55

    Since none of the usual ANC apologists have comment, I feel it is my civic duty to help them out. Here goes: Do you expect her to stay in a shack? :-)

      Du - 2011-10-26 04:47

      En waarom nogal nie?

  • africanwolf - 2011-10-25 04:37

    Shame

  • raymond.kok3 - 2011-10-25 05:38

    why not stay at any Protea 3 star hotel why must it be a 5 star hotel fire her please

  • Silvana - 2011-10-25 06:01

    LOL "The house that was allocated to her in Cape Town was sub-standard and had chronic defects". You couldn't live in this house so you waste R1,6 million to keep yourself in obscene luxury, but it's OK to let the people that vote for you live in a leaking tin shack with no toilet. Wonder what SACP stands for? Could it be South African Capitalist Party?

  • Kevin - 2011-10-25 06:03

    when will this stop .....? what many dont realise is that Governments do not create wealth - they only consume. It is the businesses that create wealth and that only through being skilled and hard work.

  • TheRock - 2011-10-25 06:09

    Joematt se gat - joemoer!!

  • Breinlekkasie - 2011-10-25 06:37

    What is wrong with a R250 per night guest house or even a R500 per night guest house.

  • Peter - 2011-10-25 06:41

    in accordance with the rules governing the official accommodation of ministers." And there is the justification. Because it is in the "hand book" they WILL get away with it. When is this "hand book" going to be re written, as requested previously??

  • Michael - 2011-10-25 06:49

    "cheap polliticking" - gawd, imagine the numbers when it gets expensive!

  • MagdaKus - 2011-10-25 06:50

    If they have no idea how the rest of their fellow South Africans manage on a lesser budget, they sould not be in charge. Out of touch with reality.

  • Silvana - 2011-10-25 06:54

    This administration reminds me of The 3 Musketeers, with a twist - All for one and nothing for all! Maybe the SACP should make this their mission statement.

  • Heinrich - 2011-10-25 06:54

    There simply can be no justification. What did the people of S.A. get in exchange for this massive expenditure? (Remember she was still paid a massive salary as well!) I repeat : These parasites must be tarred and feathered and paraded through the shanty towns of South Africa. The shack dwellers must see them for what they really are.

  • swavka - 2011-10-25 07:00

    For that price they could easily have rented a house, plus security and taken the furniture from the shacks that were in a shambles. What a lame excuse. Why don't you come right out and say that the house was not up to the standard that you as a ANC cadre expected and you didn't fight the good fight to be in a second rate house. These people who claim they lived off the land during the previous time sure forget their roots quickly. Wannabees that's what they are.

  • Mike - 2011-10-25 07:14

    She accounted for +/- R844000 at 3 hotels (13 weeks) which is R9274 per night. If the other 39 weeks she was without a house cost the balance of the 1,5 mill (R2400 per night) why did she decide to 'slum it'?

  • Gammat - 2011-10-25 07:23

    What about the Town Lodge? She should have stayed at formula1 hotels.

  • Mike - 2011-10-25 07:23

    I think 'whistle blowers' are needed at these luxury establishments so that questions can be asked in parliament at the time, not two years later.

  • Craig - 2011-10-25 07:24

    Oh Hum, another waist of our money, if the money being used by these people comes from the tax payers then surely in terms of law by virtue of the fact we are supporting the said corruption are we just as guilty as they are, I say withhold tax in our fight against crime, no cash no corruption

  • Derk - 2011-10-25 07:25

    she could have stayed at Polsmoor when she was in Cape Town

  • Carl - 2011-10-25 07:25

    Cheap politicking vs expensive reckless scoffing from the pigs trough...let them eat cake!

  • William - 2011-10-25 07:27

    This is a very good move by Zuma. Now he must just put his foot down on malema and then we tax payers will Pay up with a smile.

  • Judith - 2011-10-25 07:29

    a disgrace !!!! they could easily have purchased a house for her,instead of wasting money at this rate!!!!!DISGRACEFUL!!!!!!

  • Koos - 2011-10-25 07:36

    Whoever in the department who said this is "insulting, disingenuous and smacks of cheap politicking", must be fired as well. They all think like bloody 14 year old children. All ANCCYL members??

  • Marion - 2011-10-25 07:43

    "The minister was appointed in May 2009 and did not have official accommodation for more than a year. The house that was allocated to the minister in Cape Town was sub-standard and had many chronic defects," the department said. Ja ja ja... we've heard it all before... wonder what they mean by sub-standard... maybe they allocated her a shack somewhere... chronic defects my fat butt... the person who bought such a sub-standard house should also be whacked... oh, maybe she has already been whacked... There is a big difference between enjoying the lifestyle your grand position entitles you to and going for the lifestyle that your conscience dictates... Minister of agriculture... even half that money would have served a couple of emerging farmers well...

  • Sattva - 2011-10-25 07:44

    and what's wrong with a hostel or a cheap B & B ?

  • Koos - 2011-10-25 07:45

    Whoever in the department who tries to justify this should also be fired immediately!! ""To label the minister's hotel accommodation unjustifiable, its suggesting she placed expensive tastes above the needs of the South African people, was "insulting, disingenuous and smacks of cheap politicking", the department said."" - NOBODY NORMAL can condone this waste. Maybe we will hear mention of this in the budget this afternoon. Surprised that reasonable intelligent people like the current and ex ministers of finance can stand this attitude. They are like Kortbroek - can't get otehr jobs.

  • Marion - 2011-10-25 07:53

    Even a thousand rand a night would have been okay... but as someone else said, they could have bought her another house to live in for that time and then sold it at a profit or kept it for anyone else who was in a similar position. Someone said she is an intelligent woman. Maybe she is, but she has mash potatoes for a conscience.

  • Werner - 2011-10-25 08:21

    Fire her

  • Paul - 2011-10-25 08:31

    What a crock of bull, there is no way she can justify doing what she did. Do that in any other business in S.A and you will have your ass handed to you.

  • Callan - 2011-10-25 08:32

    ..."the house was substandard"... Dont tell me mosquitos again! whats with these Cape Town government houses?! Oink,Oink...another piggy in the trough!!

  • Marni - 2011-10-25 08:44

    R8270 per day at a five star hotel, versus R8000 per month for a rental home? The difference? At the one she'd have to make her own food and clean up after herself. But the rest of her colleagues won't say anything, as they are also planning a little "working holiday" of their own. Min Shiceka was fired at last. It's a good start, Jakes. Well done, but when are you getting rid of the rest of them?

  • dave.ueckermann - 2011-10-25 09:03

    We can cry, shake our heads in disbelief, call for heads to roll etc concerning such acts of money wasteage but you know , we will wake up tomorrow and there will be another scandal such as this and what has been uncovered before. we call for the withholding of taxes and the likes but NOTHING will help. i dont know what to say or do anymore. these fatcats will continue to rape our finances so we have to accept it and just moan around the braais and dinner tables .

  • Dorothy - 2011-10-25 09:18

    Why is the general public not privy to the ministers' handbook? Surely there should be a limit to money spent on travel & accommodation and ALL the other perks that go with the job??? The minister has an inflated opinion of herself if she believes that this type of luxury is part of her job. The wastefulness displayed by so many of the government officials needs to be addressed. The past minister of finance mentioned this in a speech some time back. What is Pravan Gordhan doing about all this?

  • Nick - 2011-10-25 10:49

    Telling you... put politicians on minimum wage and watch how fast things change!!! saw that on facebook.... but indeed true, public servents live in the palace whilst the public live in the sewers.... wtf

  • Cristina - 2011-10-25 12:15

    What crap is this?? lame excuses!!!. arent there any "suitable" homes for rent in the entire country??!!!!!!!!!..She should be fired!!! plain and simple for wasting tax payers hard earned cash!!!!

  • donald.perumal - 2011-10-25 12:16

    Hi All Don't be silly,"(T)he house that was allocated to the minister in Cape Town was sub-standard and had many chronic defects," very similar to RDP houses.Now,how can a Ministerv of poor people live in a house like that.Even Malema, a champion of the poor, landless people is building an 18 million mansion in Sandton.And the poors are not concerned about where all the political leaders live but are really interested in what happened in the fifteen hundreds when Tshaka's men pushed the Khoi San off their land and took it by force. Its time the Khoi San and the Coloureds marched for their Economic Freedom:take the land back with the minerals and send Malema and his Tsotsis back to Zimbabwe. Now back to Jou Ma ,so you couldn't live in the shack they gave you.Go live in the posh hotels: Jou Ma se............