Motlanthe silent on Nkandla too

2012-10-24 14:36

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe deflected questions in Parliament on the multimillion rand projects around President Jacob Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla, saying these weren’t relevant to the question he was originally asked on poverty.

Motlanthe did admit that government departments spent a “helluvalot” on eating, drinking and travelling.

Independent Democrat MP Joe McGluwa asked Motlanthe during a question session in the National Assembly this afternoon whether the almost R250 million government would spend on Zuma’s home in Nkandla was justified amid the poverty in the country.

Motlanthe said: “You are asking me a question that should correctly speaking be responded to by the public works minister (Thulas Nxesi).” Motlanthe, who is in charge of the government’s poverty programme, said the building at Nkandla wasn’t directly related to the war on poverty. Zuma previously said he wasn’t aware of the amount of money spent on the Nkandla upgrade, while Nxesi refused to comment on costs, saying Nkandla was a “national key point”. In response to figures presented to him by the DA’s Anchen Dreyer of more than R4.6 billion spent by government departments on travel, food and entertainment in the past year, Motlanthe admitted that it was “a helluvalot of money”. He said he would ask for a breakdown of the costs and present these in writing to Parliament. He added that the fact that government departments are in Pretoria and Parliament is in Cape Town might have something to do with the high spending on travel.

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