Mulder blows R500 000 on flights

2012-08-01 14:31
Pieter Mulder (File, Sapa)

Pieter Mulder (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Pieter Mulder spent nearly R500 000 on domestic and international flights between his appointment in 2009 and March last year.

Mulder’s boss, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, revealed that the Freedom Front Plus leader spent R472 595 on about 80 flights between May 2009 and March last year.

Joemat-Pettersson was replying to a parliamentary question from DA MP Pieter van Dalen.

Mulder also received subsistence and travel payments and reimbursements for expenses incurred totalling more than R12 000 for international travel in the 2010/11 financial year.

Joemat-Pettersson is the subject of investigations by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela for spending R1.6m on six chartered flights over 18 months.

The complaints were laid by Congress of the People MP Deidre Carter and the DA’s Lourie Bosman, who complained about Joemat-Pettersson’s expensive luxury hotel stays.

Mulder’s spokesperson, Wouter Wessels, said the deputy minister’s travelling was the price the country had to pay for having Parliament in Cape Town while Pretoria is the capital.

“We try our utmost to save taxpayers’ money but are obligated to make use of a specific travel agent contracted by the department,” Wessels said.

He said Mulder’s travel expenses were similar to those incurred by an MP, whose travelling costs taxpayers R480 000 a year.

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