Women 'junket' - only 7 ministers went

2011-03-28 22:43

Johannesburg - Only seven ministers and 18 officials attended a United Nations gender summit in New York, while MPs and NGOs attended side-events, the department of women said on Monday.

"The department rejects the false allegations made in the Sunday Times...that SA sent a large delegation to this meeting," spokesperson Sibani Mngadi said.

He said that delegation members did not arrive in New York and return to South Africa at the same time, nor did they all stay for the duration of the meeting.

"The newspaper has maliciously added up delegates to the NGO forum, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and a correctional services visit to New York prisons to falsely give an impression," he said.

The newspaper reported that a 49-member delegation flew on return business class tickets on SAA at a cost of R81 104 per person.

It claimed Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula forced herself on to the guest list and failed to attend any of the sessions.

Those who did not make it into the conference venue, spent their time shopping and clubbing in New York the paper said, quoting a government official. 

Gender sensitive

Mngadi told Sapa that two ministers, five deputy-ministers and 18 gender officials attended the 55th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in late February and early March.

These were Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana, who led the group, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini and deputy ministers Elizabeth Thabethe of trade and industry, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu of public works, Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu, her health counterpart Gwen Ramokgopa and Deputy Higher Education Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize.

"The gender officials were from different departments whose primary goal was to look at policies and make sure they were gender-sensitive and catered for the interests of women," Mngadi said.

Three MPs attended the interparliamentary union to "discuss political violence against women as well as meeting millennium development goals".

The remaining attendees were five South African civil society organisations with a number of representatives.

Mngadi said the departments were accredited and required to report back, which they did.

"Certainly from our department we can say there was a budget set aside for this matter as it is one of our primary portfolios...the departments participated at their own cost," he said.

"The minister [Xingwana] feels the trip was successful. We have finalised reports on South African participation...these will be available soon."

  • Chris - 2011-03-28 22:56

    Last time I counted seven is more than four - there was accreditation for four and you sent seven!! What a bunch of self aggradizing half wits!!

      POLLENYS - 2011-03-28 23:35

      Still 25 too many in the face of all the squalor. What can these summits possibly aquire?

      Sedick - 2011-03-29 00:06

      We did not waste R10m, we only wasted R8m. So why are you guys complaining? And we need to visit NY so that we can party and do our designer-lable shopping with the tax-payers money, and the money that we made through our BEE deals, and the back-handers, and the tenders that we rigged, and the money that we get from all the overseas criminal syndicates buddies.......

  • Benzo - 2011-03-28 23:02

    where there is smoke there is fire. The unusually quick and detailed response says enough.

      ArtGee - 2011-03-29 07:00

      Of course the trip was SUCCESSFUL... Sandton Square does NOT have the ranges available that they have in 5th Avenue! A GOOD time was held by all!

  • DerpyHooves - 2011-03-28 23:03

    Thumbs up if you think they should rename the department for Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities to the department of the doomed

      ArtGee - 2011-03-29 07:01

      Dept of TRAVEL and PARTIES! The previous incompetent held PARTIES, this one TRAVELS!

  • s'truth - 2011-03-28 23:12

    And the side events were shop till you drop (at taxpayers expense) Eat at as many restaurants as you can (at taxpayers expense) go nightclubbing(at taxpayers expense) Do these fools think that no one is witness to their shenanigans?

  • JohannV - 2011-03-28 23:23

    OK, duh, that's still 23 too many, seeing that only 2 delegates per country were invited. The ANC needs new spin doctors, they're trapping themselves in their own lies!

  • smileytimes - 2011-03-28 23:45


  • smileytimes - 2011-03-28 23:46


  • Mike@CapeT - 2011-03-28 23:47

    I think the allegation is that 49 Government officials went on an extravagent paid holiday at the tax payers expense!

  • simonds.dave - 2011-03-29 00:08

    but the questions the delegates need to answer are : This is all standard best practice for any business person attending such a conference / workshop. Input -> synthesise -> make relevant -> execute !!!!!!! 1. what are top 3 must-do 'best practice' relevant to their department to learn 2. how do they modify these best practice for SA - discussion start in NY 3. what are the changes to strategy, goals, performance et al as the measure of success 3. what are the changes to strategy, goals, performance et al as the measure of success 4. how does this knowledge now be implemented, time lines, budgets, staffing .... people & money, and contingency plans if things go wrong 5. clear and transparent measurable outcomes Some answers please for once - plse send questions to DG

  • Peter.James.Merrington - 2011-03-29 00:55

    Even so!Seven Cabinet Ministers! The Secret Seven? Britain's war cabinet in WWII had 9. We need to send 7 to an NGO-oriented gender conference? How will that Big Apple junket halt the SA rape stats and our 'culture' of abuse? Disgraceful waste of money, no less.

  • Stephen - 2011-03-29 02:34

    ANC gov misusing taxpayers money on extravagant trip to the big Apple...why am i not surprise?

  • John Wilderness - 2011-03-29 04:09

    By time governments and world bodies become more reliant on technologies(video conferencing etc) than going on expensive trips to attend conferences and various meetings.

      lordwabbitspam - 2011-03-29 06:56

      Then send 2 people, not the entire cabinet. And what the hell is up with a minister for "Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities" anyway? I bet this very important minister has her tax paid for bodyguards and house and car and fat checque each month to do exactly bugger all. Rather get rid of her and give the money to the Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities. It would be doing a lot more in the short and long run.

  • maseratifitt - 2011-03-29 04:26

    That still is 25 people! 1) What did you bring back to SA which is worth the millions you spent? 2) What benefit will it bring to SA? 3) When can we see results? 4) What did 25 people bring back which could not have been done by a single person? 5) What did the delegation learn that was not already known? 6) What did the delegation learn that could not have been read at home?

      John Wilderness - 2011-03-29 06:23

      @Maseratifitt. Your kind of posting makes a whole lot of more sense where you actually put forward a very rational argument rather than the normal wild, long shot anti-black, anti-ANC bantering that usually gets posted. It is more precise and leaves no space for postulating. Your argument is more effective in hi-liting government wastage, ineptness and incompetence.

      Ryan Lockwood - 2013-10-21 13:28

      @John Wilderness: Where is this anti-black? Did I miss something? When you've given that some thought, please enlighten me as to what is wrong with postulation on this site? Isn't this the whole point of a discussion forum? To postulate?

  • Gnu - 2011-03-29 04:46

    Even if they attended the meetings they would have either picked their noses or would have been fast asleep.

      Proudly SA - 2011-03-29 05:56

      Gnu - do not drop level of the arguement as unnecessary and insulting; focus on the issue at hand of a government that has absolutely no concept on how to use public funds responsibly and is completely insensitive to needs of those suffering. The cost of each ticket is more than the cost of an extra classroom for a school or small home for a family in a squatter camp

  • roboman1 - 2011-03-29 05:54

    The time will come when the people of South Africa do not accept this lavish and wasteful spending on luxury travel and entertainment while we at home have less than two thousand rand a month to live on per month on average. Eventually, as is happening in North Africa, the people will unite against the ANC's corrupt and wasteful self indulgence

  • Xram62 - 2011-03-29 06:45

    They just HAD to might've been their last chance!!!

  • Renny - 2011-03-29 06:58

    Why is it only black women, that doesn't represent the demographics of our rainbow nation.

  • patrice - 2011-03-29 06:59

    What is the point of becoming a Cabinet Minister with all the related stress and strain, if you you cannot bust out every now and again with a fun field trip ? The voting public gave you the cheque book, and a vote of confidence to use it. So its like part of your portfolio to use it.

      Cyberman - 2011-03-29 08:00

      @Patrice - The only stress and strain our Ministers have is trying to figure out to what extent they can milk the system to the extreme for their personal gain in the potentially short term they have without getting caught out. I agree with your sentiments however that the ANC buffoons who voted them in shouldn't complaint..I may be wrong but with the exception of Pravin Gordham I cannot think of another minister who is qualified to do, or actually does their job like it supposed to be done..

      DW - 2011-03-29 10:48

      Are you for real or being sarcastic?

  • Happy - 2011-03-29 07:09

    I did not think Lulu could blow money fatster than when she bankrupted the Landbank. I underestimated her.....

  • Fly By Night - 2011-03-29 07:12

    what a load of crap

  • TheNwsReader - 2011-03-29 07:12

    Do they discuss affirmative action at these seminars? Do they discuss discrimination against men?

  • Blip - 2011-03-29 07:16

    ONLY seven? Seven is a LOT!

  • Stuartthom - 2011-03-29 07:22

    casting pearls before swine

      advurt - 2011-03-29 07:56

      YUP - also - dress a pig up in pearls, still a pig . . .

      LogicBomb - 2011-03-29 09:40

      And lastly, never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

  • The Observer - 2011-03-29 07:33

    Well we all know they were there for a free party. No need to lie and discrase youselves further, the truth is out there.

  • Hux - 2011-03-29 07:37

    We may as well put up red lights outside our houses as we are being screwed daily by these fat pigs.

      advurt - 2011-03-29 07:57


  • Wes - 2011-03-29 07:57

    My daughter worked at a posh hotel and a bus load of fact finders stayed over at the hotel after a fact finding mission in Europe when they checked out the hotel discovered they had removed all the towels, sheets, pillows etc and other items that were not nailed down so these trips also turn into affirmative shopping frenzies.

  • linsam - 2011-03-29 08:16

    I dont care whether it was 49, 7 or even 1 - what makes them think that they are entitled to travel business class and stay in 5 star hotels - USING MY MONEY?! If I can travel economy and stay in a 3 star hotel - SO CAN THEY. I am sick and tired of the attitude of public officials who feel that they are somehow better than the average person and therefore entitled to live like royalty at our expense.

  • Robert - 2011-03-29 08:16

    They are now trying to "back-peddle" and smooth over the vibes around this whole debarcle. A 2 week paid holiday on the government for all the black mama's so they could go and do their shopping. Why so many people had to go was so that they could hire a HIACE in New York and feel at home Disgusting to say the least. Time to post this on my Facebook page so everybody overseas can see how our Government officials waste our tax payers money.

  • Dog!! - 2011-03-29 08:38

    Dear Minister, please release your report into the public domain we will decide whether the trip was fruitful. I can bet you will find that the report is a verbatim of the US legislation with some "copy and paste" mistakes. I like the statement "Certainly from our department we can say there was a budget set aside for this matter as it is one of our primary portfolios...the departments participated at their own cost," he said." He/She makes it sound as if they paid the trip from their own pocket and the reason its been budgeted for means the entourage is endless. This is an "African" approach to have so many participants because you know you need "brainpower from africa to impress!!! On the contrary what does the outside world know they can't do without Africa's input!!

      Clive - 2011-03-29 10:32

      Well said, Dog. These people think that because the money is in their budget, it is theirs to do with as they please. Until gainfully spent, it remains taxpayers' money. But what the hell, most taxpayers probably don't vote ANC anyway, so let's screw them - the ignorant masses will keep us in power forever. At least, that's what I imagine is ANC thinking - if they think at all.

  • Mark - 2011-03-29 08:39

    Its all true... you racists!

  • vsquad - 2011-03-29 08:46

    With allegations swirling that Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula forced herself onto the guest list of a two-week UN gender summit, but failed to attend any of the sessions where she was supposed to represent SA - What a disfunctional goverment.. bad times ahead, kiss those votes goodbye...

  • Sergio - 2011-03-29 09:10

    Does anyone have the full list of attendees or know where i can find it?

  • Janine - 2011-03-29 09:13

    Elections coming up. Time to gloss over/cover up all the messes that the ANC has made so that people will still vote for them. GO DA!

  • Dave - 2011-03-29 09:34

    If these delegates went shopping surely SARS should have been involved at Customs level ,at entry to RSA airport, and the goods should have been declared and the delegates should have paid import duties/taxes on these goods. If not SARS neglected to carry out their jobs properly and should also be taken to task

  • VuyosWors - 2011-03-29 09:37

    There was an over-supply of fat hogs at the feeding trough....again.

  • richd7032 - 2011-03-29 09:46

    What an absolute joke. Whether it be 49 members or 7 ministers and 18 officials which make 25, we as a country do not have this sort of money to waste. Sure send one or two ministers to keep up to date with foreign policy etc etc, although I think they'd still go on a shopping spree in Saks! It is a travesty to see hard earned tax payers money wasted like this on business class tickets and hotels over looking central park. Have they not heard of a Holiday Inn!!? One day the money will dry up and then we will be another Zimbabwe or Mocambique.

  • wachiguara - 2011-03-29 09:49

    What difference will this reporting make as no one gets chastised for abusing public funds. It is becoming the norm for this govt to abuse tax payers money. This country is a joke. Tax payers are taxed to the hilt, govt officials plunder at will.

  • Darwinian - 2011-03-29 09:50

    Another holiday on my expense!!

  • wachiguara - 2011-03-29 09:54

    It doesn't matter what intelligent, intellectual people think of the ANC govt because the ANC does not need their votes. The ANC relies on the votes of the poor, illiterate rural population to keep them in power - these people that don't have a clue of how dysfunctional and corrupt this ANC govt is. Come election time they hand out a few food parcels and that is sufficient to get them re-elected

  • Clive - 2011-03-29 10:25

    "Only" seven ministers?! Here we go again with more LDC behaviour: Lies, Denials and Cover-ups.

  • Vintage - 2011-03-29 10:38

    I quarantee you that every person commenting on this site will be labelled "Racists"

  • DW - 2011-03-29 10:43

    "the departments participated at their own cost" - I think not. This was still taxpayer money. If they paid out of their OWN POCKETS you can say they participated at their own cost, but they are still ultimately answerable for spending taxpayers money. Why not send 5 or 6 and let them come back and report to all the others in a local conference? THAT would have been cost effective spending. This was simply a fancy, expensive overseas shopping trip at taxpayers expense.

  • Krush - 2011-03-29 11:29

    I encourage everyone to go to the following website: - This site has a live counter indicating how much money the ANC is wasting every minute of the day and if you click on the 'every rand lost' tab you will see a breakdown of what our tax money is being spent on. Please have a puke bag nearby because it will make you sick.

  • Mike - 2011-03-29 11:39

    Why fly 1st class??????????????????????????????????????????????

  • Robert - 2011-03-29 12:08

    the sooner they learn ,that it is not there own, but the taxpayers cost maybe il also vote anc

  • wachiguara - 2011-03-29 12:23

    Dirty rotten scoundrels who don't repect the public (whose money keeps them in a lap of luxury)....incompetent....who have not made a single contribution to this country...for every R1 spent 50c goes into their back-pocket...who, if not employed by govt, will be sweeping the streets. Is this what a democratic country is all about..the so called rainbow nation that we advertise to the world....we have replaced apartheid with a worse form of evil ...thanks Nelson for giving us this pathetic bunch...thanks for nothing

  • Kevin - 2011-03-29 12:38

    Don't overlook an important fact here - One cannot be considered a true member of South Africa's ANC government until one's total ATMWF (Accumulated Taxpayers' Money Wastage Figure) hits at least the R2M mark per delegate, so it was very important for them to attend in order to get their ATMWF ratios up. The more expensive your plane ticket or stars on your hotel accommodation have a direct correlation to your respect on the parliament floor, people. Tsk tsk.

  • ZACKIE - 2011-03-29 13:03

    they was def a large delegation have u seen the huge size of the anc minsters they should be flying in the cargo hold not business class

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