DA: Presidential spending can't be secret

2013-04-14 18:39
President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe

President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The policy to regulate how the president and deputy president spend public money cannot be kept hush-hush, the DA said on Sunday.

"The presidency has been turned into a state-within-a-state, beyond proper oversight and scrutiny by Parliament," said Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier.

He said that earlier this year he asked for access to a copy of the Presidential Handbook, which apparently gives guidelines for this expenditure.

"However, the presidency's deputy information officer Dr Batandwa Siswana has now informed me that my application for access to the Presidential Handbook has been denied."

Maynier said the reply to his request suggested that the policy was a Cabinet record, and therefore classified.

On Sunday, the City Press reported that the Presidential Handbook was based on a policy document, just over 10 pages long, and was approved by the Cabinet in 2007.

The handbook itself remained in draft form, seven years after the Public Protector issued a recommendation that it be finalised.

Siswana told the newspaper the draft could not be made public as it was "still undergoing deliberation by the relevant government officials and their political principals, where this is necessary".


In February, questions arose about policy governing state expenditure for the deputy president after Kgalema Motlanthe went on holiday to the Seychelles.

According to reports at the time, it was alleged that a local charter plane was contracted - at a cost of R83 000 - to transport him and his entourage after an Air Force Falcon 900 could not land on Desroches Island because the runway was unsuitable.

Motlanthe's spokesperson Thabo Masebe subsequently said the deputy president's security was the state's responsibility.

"That is why all travels, whether private or official, are the responsibility of the state."

The DA said at the time it would ask for access to the Presidential Handbook to establish whether the holiday costs were covered by policy around state expenditure for the deputy president.

"The fact that the policy regulating the use of public funds by the president and deputy president has been shuffled around by paper-pushers in the presidency for more than six years, is nothing but a cynical ploy to protect the president and deputy president from scrutiny and oversight by Parliament," Maynier said on Sunday.

Read more on:    kgalema motlanthe  |  david maynier  |  politics  |  government spending

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.