Madonsela tried to find evidence to explain Shiceka’s actions

2011-10-17 09:05

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela tried to find evidence that Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka had not repeatedly abused state funds.

Speaking via a live feed from Pretoria, broadcast on SABC’s Morning Live programme today, Madonsela said she and her team had tried to find evidence to explain Shiceka’s actions.

“We did try to look for evidence in favour of the minister ... to explain his conduct ... but I couldn’t find any,” she said.

Last week Madonsela found that Shiceka had lied to President Jacob Zuma about the nature of a private trip to Switzerland that cost the taxpayer R546 864, and that he had wasted more money on two stays in Cape Town’s luxury One & Only hotel.

She gave Zuma 60 days to take “serious action” against the minister who has been on sick leave since February, yet continued to travel domestically at state expense.

She said Shiceka had also booked into the Lesotho Sun hotel for four days in March and insisted his department pay the R357 120 bill with an accommodation voucher.

This amounted to “fraudulent misrepresentation” and was one of five instances where he violated the Executive Ethics Act and the Constitution, Madonsela said.

She told Morning Live that Shiceka had not co-operated with the investigation.

“The minister was not truthful with me,” she said.

Shiceka has, meanwhile, ignored calls to resign, and vowed to go to court to contest the Public Protector’s report on his repeated abuse of state funds.

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