Calls on minister to pay back R235 000

2011-09-18 14:36

Cape Town - The DA has repeated its call on International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to pay back R235 000 she spent on chartering a private jet.

The jet was chartered during a state visit to Norway earlier this month, after Nkoana-Mashabane refused to allow her handbag to be passed through a scanner at Gardemoen International Airport in Oslo, and missed her commercial flight.

Her department said at the time that the Vienna Convention exempted diplomats from luggage searches at airports and that the minister was right to stand her ground.

Democratic Alliance MP Lindiwe Mazibuko said on Sunday this was not correct.

"The Vienna Convention does not exempt the luggage of diplomatic officials from pre-flight X-ray scanning," she said in a statement.

Article 36 of the convention merely prohibited the routine inspection of diplomats’ luggage, unless it was suspected to contain items "prohibited by the law or controlled by the quarantine regulations of the receiving State".

The convention said nothing about scanning the luggage in an X-ray machine.

"In fact, according to the provisions of Annex 17 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation on Aviation Security, diplomats and their personal baggage must always be subject to routine pre-boarding screening as it applies to civil aviation security."

Mazibuko said the department had cited the Vienna Convention as a "convenient red herring" to spare the minister embarrassment.

"The rules state clearly that she should have allowed her handbag to be scanned by airport security officials."

Mazibuko said a key question was why the minister refused to put her handbag through the scanner.

"Was she trying to hide something? According to reports, she didn’t just refuse. She kicked up a fuss that was clearly audible to other passengers boarding the flight.

"We may never know what was in the minister’s handbag. But we can recoup the public money that was spent on the private jet. I reiterate my call for Minister Nkoana-Mashabane to pay back the money from her own purse," Mazibuko said.

  • Proffie - 2011-09-18 14:41

    Don't hold your breath.

      Chris - 2011-09-18 15:05

      Rendie - you obviously have no understanding of the legal term diplomatic immunity! The norm is for a host nation protocol officer to accompany foreign dignitaries through airports etc to prevent such incidence!

      Ryan - 2011-09-18 15:17

      Chris catch a wake up pal. I am going to simplify it for you. the airport security were well within their rights to x-ray minister Maite's luggage as they do other passenger's on commercial flights. the Vienna Convention did not give Minster Maite any protection from having her bag scanned. simple. or are you still struggling with the concept ?

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-09-18 15:24

      Chris... I do not understand the full rights surrounding Diplomatic Immunity.. What concerns me is a Minister, representing a country where most people are unemployed and hungry, making a fuss about an X-Ray and thus costing those people she represents over R200k. That is pathetic - Nevermind her "international rights". SOUTH AFRICAN MINISTERS AND GOVERNMENT ARE NOT HOLY... They need to understand that. THEY WORK FOR US.

      Alice - 2011-09-18 16:46

      And Chris you would walk off the edge of a cliff for the the VIP's

      za101 - 2011-09-18 17:13

      I cant believe this ladies arrogance. I have a small company, and staff contribute almost R300 000 to PAYE. The minister paid a foreign charter company South African peoples money. Disgraceful. Myself and my staff who mostly vote ANC, would have done somuch with that R300,000 Minsiter.

      Sheda Hab - 2011-09-18 17:58

      I said it before and I say it again. She is a THIEF. Lock her up.

      JohannV - 2011-09-18 18:25

      It's like Winnie with the highway cops. I'm amazed this Maite didn't ask for the security officer to be fired! Stupid maite..

      Met - 2011-09-18 19:26

      You can bath a pig, spray it full of perfume and tie pink ribbons to its ears, but clearly it does not become a French poodle

      Ryan - 2011-09-18 22:40

      @ZA101 ... then you have to ask yourself, why do you still vote ANC ?? this isn't the first example of government waste, bloat, mismanagement and corruption. theres tons of it. and its the poor black people of this country that really end up suffering most.

      Great White - 2011-09-19 09:02

      Somehow people and animals will always revert to type. Such is the nature of the beast.

      Thabiso - 2011-11-29 09:55

      Its best left alone. She will apply for state funding to be cleared of any wrong doing in court and as such she would effectively use a lot more than that quarter of a million.

  • Sinudeity - 2011-09-18 14:46

    Another government official smuggling drugs for nigerians?

      Ryan - 2011-09-18 16:25

      its possible, but we will now never know for sure

  • KarooOstrich - 2011-09-18 14:47

    Although I agree with the DA I don't think there is any chance of that happening at all. After all,these arrogant ministers are not answerable or accoutable to anybody. Taxpayer money is there to be spent in any way they please (this is their right). One stands a better chance of knocking a hole through a concrete wall using your head than to recoup this money. These arrogant bunch of useless morons make me SICK!!!

      ES - 2011-09-19 01:10

      Karoo Ostrich you may be spot on with your analysis of past behavior of these politicians but I can assure you that the DA would not be bringing this up again if they did not have a solid case against the said Politician. I can also go as far as saying that if she knew at the time her actions would lead her having to pay the bill it might have ended in a different scenario. Ah, but this was our taxes she was spending so she just “stuck to her principles” Well , we will never know what was in that bag that cost the South African Citizens R235 000

  • OZNOB - 2011-09-18 14:51

    i think the honourable minister should pay double for the embarrassment that she caused the country and for misappropriating funds

      KarooOstrich - 2011-09-18 14:57

      You say "honourable", that word does not exsist in their dictionary or in their vocabulary. There an old saying that says "there is no honour among thieves".

      Chris - 2011-09-18 15:05

      you obviously have no understanding of the legal term diplomatic immunity! The norm is for a host nation protocol officer to accompany foreign dignitaries through airports etc to prevent such incidence!

      betweenu&me - 2011-09-18 15:13

      Read the article Chris - there is no immunity for her in this situation

      Ryan - 2011-09-18 15:18

      Excuse Chris, he is an idiot

      OZNOB - 2011-09-18 16:06

      mr karoo ostrich i was being sarcastic there as thr minister was being anything but honourable . mr chris two items firstly let me repeat what has being said before they were quite within their rights to x ray the luggage if the minister had an issue she should have allowed them to scan the luggage and then taken the issue up with someone more senior later on and not hold everyone up which i think is perfectly reasonable. second item are you on stuck record mode or do you like repeating yourslf ?

      Alice - 2011-09-18 16:54

      Chris you repeating yourself

  • Serias - 2011-09-18 14:56

    stupid cow

  • Robin7 - 2011-09-18 15:01

    Just another corrupt minister....surprise surprise....

  • Chris - 2011-09-18 15:03

    Sorry think the DA has got this one wrong - protocol was broken and she was in her rights! Maybe the they should get the host nation to pay for their bungle!

      Ryan - 2011-09-18 15:21

      Excuse Chris, he is still learning to read

      OZNOB - 2011-09-18 16:29

      how about you offering to pay yourself since you are so convinced this minister is so very right

      Alice - 2011-09-18 16:55

      Chris you repeating yourself again!!

      Al - 2011-09-18 17:01

      Chris, do you have a brain?

      gatvol4corru - 2011-09-18 18:59

      dimwit -- you and the corrupt ANC can pay this and we will keep quite

      Taurus 11 - 2011-09-19 10:00

      Chris If you could read you would discover that Norway only allow Royalty "immunity". This female is NOT so she must abide by the laws of the country in which she is. Also Norway has agreed to only part of the Vienna Convention.

      TOKYO3991 - 2011-09-19 10:03

      LOL, are you a standup comedienne (see what I did there)?

  • Ryan - 2011-09-18 15:04

    so Minister Maite and her government department are not aware of the Vienna Convention guidelines. shame. and all those commenters on this site that blamed Norway, and white imperialists, and said that Minister Maite was right to refuse her luggage being scanned, those commenters look proper dumb now.

  • Ryan - 2011-09-18 15:06

    and to think the SA government went and lied about the Vienna convention guidelines so as to defend Minister Maite

      Julius - 2011-09-18 17:02

      Truth is relative according to the ANC

  • Samual Soustrein - 2011-09-18 15:25

    The wheels on the Soustrein goes round and round . . .

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-18 18:24

      .........ALL OVER TOWN...... Driver of the SOUSTREIN goes SUIP SUIP SUIP....

  • betweenu&me - 2011-09-18 15:30

    If Zuma reeeeaaaaaally wants to show that he won't tolerate squandering of tax payers' money, he should make an example of this minister and make her pay back the R250k. If this minister had to potentially pay for the chartered flight herself, there is NO WAY she would have kicked up such a fuss! This minister was in the wrong - Zuma make her pay back the money!!

      Ryan - 2011-09-18 15:33

      she may still have kicked up a fuss depending on what was in her handbag

      betweenu&me - 2011-09-18 15:47

      Let her kick up a fuss if she's paying for it...

      sefeddt - 2011-09-18 17:24

      Far chance, Zuma's attending a UN funtion in America and will be joined by his wife and his fiance at a huge cost to SA taxpayers

  • Dead Skunk - 2011-09-18 15:32

    Firstly was she travelling under a diplomatic passport, normally these holders go through a separate area. Besides, keeping in mind that Norway has just gone through a serious terrorist action it, and if she had nothing to hide it would have been an act of graciousness on her part. However, if the report and the DA are correct then she had no legal right to refuse. On these grounds she should be held responsible for the fee of the charter flight

  • BOFFINBOB_RETURNS - 2011-09-18 15:37

    Pay back !!!! I am afraid that is not part of the mindset for these puffed up arrogant "vip's" that represent our country with such " distinction. " The gravy train express continues @ full speed, only stopping to " top up " here & there. I picture the poor standing on the platforms, holding out their hands & wearing ANC T Shirts as it speeds past, with bewildered looks on their faces as they realise.." no gravy for them. " Perhaps Shapiro could draw it for us !

  • Jaco Fouche - 2011-09-18 15:47

    hell will freeze over before that happens... the taxpayers money is the ruling party's own personal kitty

  • seshike mmoledi - 2011-09-18 15:50

    If the minister was wrong so let it be, then pay all costs because if the convention does not specify that then tax payers money must be repaid back. As we are fighting for women to be in top post we then do not want those who are extravagant and misuse their powers.

      Al - 2011-09-18 17:03

      Dude you are right. The money she wasted just because she didn't want to X-Ray her handbag most of us has to work an entire year for.

  • Verdade - 2011-09-18 16:02

    Maybe she was ashamed of her soiled undies (circus tent) in her handbag?

      Alice - 2011-09-18 16:56

      Well after the expensive jet flight she still did not arrive at the conference on time!!!?

      IsThatAFact - 2011-09-18 17:20

      Could be a pink 3 speed vibrator perhaps?

  • andrew hartung - 2011-09-18 16:08

    Another fat cat, who the hell does she think she is?

  • Ryan - 2011-09-18 16:31

    The SA government said "she was strong and defended her principle." what principle ? the only principle they need to learn is that ministers are not above the law (even though they think they are), and that she was subject to having her bag scanned like everyone else aboard the commercial flight. the Vienna Convention did not exempt her.

      Alice - 2011-09-18 16:57

      my sentiment

  • Julius - 2011-09-18 16:58

    "F_ck the poor", not "shoot the boer". ANC ministers sing

  • jimmy.gomes1 - 2011-09-18 17:07


  • BraveHeart - 2011-09-18 17:10

    She's like all the rest of the anc politicians - arrogant and living in the 'its our turn now' state of mind, i.e. noses in the trough.

  • braamc - 2011-09-18 18:40

    Arrogant thieving bitch

  • JohnPicarra - 2011-09-18 18:48

    Nonquase destroyed the khozas. The ANC destroys South Africa

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-18 18:57

    the incompetent cow overstepped the line!Make her pay if she is so full of herself!

  • Davearch - 2011-09-18 18:57

    Does this idiot not know that there is now R235 000 less to spend on the poor. And so the arrogance, corruption, and total lack of compassion for the POOR continues .. these people should HANG THEIR HEADS IN SHAME.

      E.Nuff - 2011-09-18 21:01

      I will not make a payment with my next VAT return, just send a (redeemed) gift voucher for a charter flght...Make the gravy plane riders pay!

  • Kevin - 2011-09-18 18:59

    So that handbag cost R235 000

  • Grade12 GHS - 2011-09-18 21:33

    Maybe somebody should tell her (and others) that there is usually an inverse correlation between IQ and arrogance?

  • Adrian Steyn Louw - 2011-09-18 23:25

    In the bag? Johnny Walker Blue label is never far from the lips of any self respecting revolutionary. Tracking Gaddaffi, all they have to do is follow the trail of empties. What other explanation can there be for such irresponsible behaviour? It's a good thing they didn't take a blood sample. How embarrassing that would have been. All in all we should count our lucky stars it only cost us a quarter million. Imagine, she could have bought a plane instead of just hiring one in that state of high dudgeon that she was?

  • Maco - 2011-09-19 04:26

    That's great, let her pay for what she used.

  • postmanpat - 2011-09-19 07:49

    Did some one get this on a video clip it might be better than the chinees woman who made a fuss

  • abracadaver - 2011-09-19 09:02

    so much for international relations and co-operation....this is embarressing

  • Great White - 2011-09-19 09:22

    A minkey in silk is a minkey no less...

  • richard daniel - 2011-09-19 09:39

    Mazibuko has no authority in Norway as such 'all' travelers should abide by the laws of the country they visit, even government ministers. We are informed that only Royalty and Heads of State are exempt,there can be no 'principal' for disputing air travel security checks of another country. The minister has embarressed all South Africans,not only should she pay the R235,000 but she should be reprimanded and made aware of the laws. But I think like everything else this government does it will be swept under the carpet. Richard

      Taurus 11 - 2011-09-19 10:04

      Richard She must learn to read first But wait until another South African dopelimat want to go to Norway. T.hen lets see what happens when they are refused entry

  • Cameron murie - 2011-09-19 11:06

    This woman Minister Nkoana-Mashabane is completely out of touch with reality. She was boarding a commercial flight with other members of the public. What gives her the right to endanger the lives of those other passengers by refusing to have her belongings checked? She can offer NO guarantee that her bag was not the target of a terrorist bomb. The reason these checks are there is to combat terrorist acts and to improve airline saftey for ALL passengers and crew. Her behaviour was outrageous, and unnecessary. in most other democratic countries she would be publicly sacked and deservedly so.

  • Nipcat - 2011-09-19 11:55

    DON'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM? Haven't heard of the concept 'lead by example'. What difference would it have made just to put the bag through the scanner - would've taken 10 seconds!!

  • shellerjc - 2011-09-21 12:49

    And this is why we work so hard and are most of the times stressed out - the majority of what we SLAVE over gets given to the ministers (government) for mahala...

  • Mohsin - 2011-11-29 14:26

    Pay us back bitch!!!!!

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