Hotel figures wrong, minister says

2011-10-27 22:43

Cape Town - Officials who bungled a reply to a parliamentary question on hotel accommodation are in for the high jump, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Thursday.

"As a result of this bungle, I have now been cast as an extravagant minister who willy-nilly splurges on luxury using taxpayers' money, and has scant regard for the millions of South Africans who live in abject poverty," she said in a statement.

The written reply, tabled on Monday, showed Joemat-Pettersson had spent more than R1.58m - since April 1 2009 - on hotel accommodation, all while on "official duties".

Among the expenses listed was a bill for R289 352 from the Peermont D'Oreal Grande Emperor's Palace in Johannesburg, for accommodation between September 16 and October 21 2009.

There was another for R420 000 for a month-long stay at Pure Toys One CC, also in Johannesburg, during June and July last year.

But according to the statement on Thursday, issued by her department, "the entries provided... were about meetings that Joemat-Pettersson held in the hotels with stakeholders, where refreshments and food were served, over the past two-and-a-half years.

"She did not sleep in any of those hotels," it said.

The statement quotes the minister as saying the officials responsible for the mistake will face disciplinary action.

"The senior officials in the department must take full responsibility for the wrong information provided to my office to answer the parliamentary questions on this matter," she said.

"Disciplinary action will be taken against those officials who gave me incorrect information."

According to the statement, Joemat-Pettersson "initially stayed in a hotel before moving to guest houses when it became apparent that DPW [the department of public works] was in no rush to provide her with a house in Pretoria".

It offers no details of this stay.

"Ever since I was allocated official accommodation in Pretoria, I have never stayed in a hotel," she said.

Joemat-Pettersson said she would welcome any probe by the public protector into the matter.

  • camp.j - 2011-10-27 22:55

    The question remains Tina, WHY are the taxpayers paying R1.6 mill on hotel costs, no matter what reason. Sorry, you'll need a stronger case. This message goes out to the ENTIRE cabinet, why, oh why when we have the poverty we have in South Africa are you squandering millions on travel, hotel and entertainments????

      Shadho - 2011-11-02 12:00

      She is a newly appointed Minister. A single lady afforded a lap of luxury. Just two years in the position and she is afforded this luxury and for what??? LIVE AND OR CONDUCT MEETING IN 4 AND 5 STAR ESTABLISHMENTS INDEFINITELY FOR WHAT?? AT CITIZENS EXPENSE....WHAT THE HELL AND WHO THE HELL DOES SHE AND DAFF THINK THEY ARE. WHEN IN FACT DAFF ARE BASICALLY A DISFUNCTIONAL DIVISION IN THE GOVERNMENT. THEY TALK THE TALK BUT NEVER DO THE WALK!! What are her credentials to even be the Minister of such an important position. Namely DAFF. Not to mention she as a member of the Communist Party she still does this. Now she wants to discipline and censure people that may very well have been telling the truth or least some of the truth. Fire her or suspend her and yes Madam Public Protector... expose her and the like in government and eradicate them one by one. The sooner the better.

  • Maximus Odinidus - 2011-10-27 23:28

    She's lying man. It's another attempt at a cover up

      Peter - 2011-11-01 06:26

      Ok, let's cook the books quickly...

  • Dave - 2011-10-27 23:43

    You, Madam , Are FREELOADING ON THE TAXPAYERS OF RSA, IF YOU WERE PICKING UP THE TAB YOURSELF,WOULD YOU HAVE STAYED IN THIS ESTABLISHMENT?Please instruct your "spokesperson" to respond. I predict that there will not be a response until "Jesus returns".

  • Dave - 2011-10-28 00:30

    MADAM, You are just the dimple on the pimple of the SEPTIC ANC boil. You, and your Party are a stink in decent people's nostrils.

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-10-28 01:22

    Why must ministers get HOUSES? I work and I don't get a house.

  • Wayne - 2011-10-28 06:21

    Honorable Minister, whatever the reason, can we afford these massive splurges? Referring it to the PP may not return any negative remark as in the end the "Ministerial Handbook" will allow it. Just because you are entitled does not imply you HAVE to squander. Our now retired Chief Justice was not happy with the official residence and a house was bought from the Tambo Trust at very high cost, and then the renovations. He stayed in a hotel, luxury I believe, until the process was complete. He was staying in a house before, why not continue until the process is complete at least? You are not the only minister who stayed in a hotel due to some problem with your acc. This has to stop, and you as Ministers are to set the example. We are feeding the tax coffers, while from Pravin down to everyone else are making promises and placing extra burdens on us. I got appointed to my post and although I had absolutely no acc at my new station I was granted acc in the "most economical" guest house - not most extravagant or expensive - for 2 mnths. I did my best to secure perm acc w/out success and presented my reports. No leniency was afforded. In the end I had to foot the bill to stay at the guest house from my own pocket for an add 2 mnths, and then by the grace of God moved into a constr camp with my fam to hv a roof over our heads and pay the rent myself. I was entitled to off acc but got no joy from nowhere - corruption I saw, with no recourse 2 this day!

  • Koos - 2011-10-28 06:31

    And why did the department initially claimed that she did not have a proper house to stay? Refer first report on this spending? Even if this nwas for "meetings that Joemat-Pettersson held in the hotels with stakeholders, where refreshments and food were served, over the past two-and-a-half years" - it is still a waste of money. There is ample venues - like public works buildings standing empty. Get your act together Tina.

  • Peter - 2011-10-28 06:52

    Now the excuses start. Do not forget that Poloticians lie through their teeth when caught out and shift the blame. Always by blaming somebody else. Disciplinary action against somebody else?? We will not hear if that ever took place, so it will be just words and no action. It will be swept under the carpet. A scape goat will be found somewhere if this is pushed. The anger in her words is false. My contempt at this "minister" is showing.

  • Hielke - 2011-10-28 06:54

    My Guess is the information supplied is correct, another attempt of the corrupt ANC to hide the truth. Or is it an attempt to save your backside and keep you in the cosy seat for a little longer.

  • Carl - 2011-10-28 07:21

    what does it say in the anc script...? ah yes, its always someone elses fault, cover up nicely and go back to the trough, OINK

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2011-10-28 08:13

    And the oppressed youth marching for "economic freedom" have nothing at all to say about the gross abuse of public funds by their beloved ANC? Amazing, they can only see fault if it is by a white person.

  • Paul - 2011-10-28 08:23

    Does it really matter if the figures are correct? Is the bottom line not that she stayed there despite having a official government house in both cities?

  • ludlowdj - 2011-10-28 08:50

    The state owns 70% of all land in this country and has buildings in every single major town. The idea that a hotel gets used to hold meetings is disgusting anyway. use the halls and civic centers you already own.

  • Winsome - 2011-10-28 11:38

    R1,58M paid for MEETINGS? Come off it!

  • Pennie - 2011-10-28 11:59

    Oh Hell! It's the river in Egypt again!

  • Gail - 2011-10-28 14:25

    Whether she stayed in the hotel or merely held meetings there this is exactly what offended me about the NP during the apartheid years. Why can these meetings not be held in official residences and the catering be less expensive and more in line with John Citizen's spend on a function. Let the diplomats from other countries pay to stay wherever their govts will foot the bill and use the money from these totally disgusting orgies in the name of their "duties" be used to help people who are prepared to walk to Pretoria due to unemployment and starvation to start their own businesses so that people who are at the coalface will see how much it takes to start a business? This is inexcusable profligacy when there are convention centres and Union Buildings etc and we live in a 3rd world country.

  • Raeez - 2011-11-04 19:03

    UN... BELIEVABLE..!!!!!

  • John - 2012-05-04 13:33

    Blah Blah Blah

  • florence.clarke.92 - 2012-11-27 23:01

    I would love to know what HER credentials are?????????

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