SA's UN summit splurge - accreditation for max 4

2011-03-28 21:21

Cape Town - Sending a 49-member delegation to a United Nations gender summit in New York was a gross misuse of public funds, the DA said on Monday.

Parliamentary leader Athol Trollip said the Democratic Alliance (DA) was stunned by reports that the delegation, which included three ministers, five deputies, three MPs and 38 other government officials - and was the largest delegation of any country - flew business class and failed to attend some of the sessions of the summit.

The delegation included Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana, who led the group, Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

It also included deputy ministers Elizabeth Thabethe of trade and industry, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu of public works, Maggie Sotyu of police, Gwen Ramokgopa of health, and Hlengiwe Mkhize of higher education.

The Sunday Times reported that the delegates flew SAA return business class at a cost of R81 104 per person and stayed at five-star hotels, including the Ritz Carlton on Central Park, where prices started at R5 500 a night.

"We understand that the cost of this trip was at least R6.8m.

"This latest expenditure scandal constitutes a gross misuse of public funds and underscores President Jacob Zuma's insincerity when repeatedly stating his administration's commitment to alleviating poverty, improving performance and reforming service delivery," Trollip said in a statement.

Shopping trip

"Such misuse of public funds, on what appears to have been a lavish two-week shopping trip, flies in the face of the sentiment expressed by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, scarcely a month ago in his Budget speech, in which he stressed the need for efficient and effective use of state resources."

Trollip said the fact that Zuma had given written consent for Mapisa-Nqakula to attend the summit after the South African mission at the United Nations complained about the size of the delegation made a "mockery" of the R6.8m the presidency had pledged to save over the next three years in an effort to tackle wasteful expenditure.

According to The Sunday Times, Mapisa-Nqakula failed to attend any of the sessions.

Correctional Services spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga told the newspaper it was not possible for Mapisa-Nqakula to attend every session of the summit as she had officially gone on a study tour of prison security with her New York counterparts.

"The minister is busy with the business of correctional services and that's what she was there for... ."

Mbananga said Mapisa-Nqakula had received permission from President Jacob Zuma to undertake the New York trip.

Trollip said the DA would submit a series of parliamentary questions about the matter.


He said the DA wanted to know why the Zuma administration approved the attendance of such a large delegation despite knowing in advance that accreditation would be limited to two, and at most four individuals.

The party also wanted to know what the individual and overall cost of the trip was to the Treasury and what had been gained.

Questions would also be submitted to Xingwana regarding the poor attendance of the delegates.

"As the leader of the delegation, Minister Xingwana should be held responsible for the poor attendance of delegates.

As the delegation's leader she should have ensured that delegates fulfil their responsibilities by attending all summit events, especially since it seems no expense was spared to send them there in the first place," said Trollip.

  • Pech? Africa - 2011-03-28 21:32

    Ai mos die mense so ons geld terwyl hul eie nie eens iets het om te eet nie..."The Sunday Times reported that the delegates flew SAA return business class at a cost of R81 104 per person and stayed at five-star hotels, including the Ritz Carlton on Central Park, where prices started at R5 500 a night"

      Francois - 2011-03-29 08:44

      The more concerning thing is that Mapisa-Nqakula still needs to learn and she is not going to Russia or China, her former buddies for this study tour, but to NYC. Actually she admits that she is incompetent and that she is not loyal and then Kgalema has the audacity to say that they supported communism in the struggle years - so much for loyalty!

  • safather - 2011-03-28 21:38

    Embarrassing, just embarrassing. And the ANC tries to make us believe they want to save money and look after the poor, when in reality, they just want to squander public funds. Either through, incompetence, stupidity or just complete disregard for the tax payers.

      Monica - 2011-03-28 22:49

      This a a crime what they do with our hard-earned money!!

  • Barbara - 2011-03-28 21:43

    This is an INCREDIBLE waste, and makes a mockery of Pravin Gordhan and those trying to curb the arrogance of those in charge of public funds. We see poverty daily & I hear the frustration of those trying to get government & municipal work but cannot afford the bribes. Another embarrassment which will no doubt hit the international news

  • devils_advo - 2011-03-28 21:47

    Simple minded sn***ab's... Grinds my gears when I hear this crap...

  • Coffeeor Me - 2011-03-28 21:49

    @Tshepo The Sniper, Hey Bru! go look at what I wrote to you "DA rallying for JHB", seriously Bru you are Spiking mainstream Mayonaise,agreeing to this R&R of the government explains the fact that you dont pay TAX, or you would be concerned how your hard earned money is spent, but hey dont fret sniff some chunky peanut butter, it might clear your brain.

  • Marc-Andre - 2011-03-28 21:53

    Why are we still surprised at this? The ANC cronies are using the SA Treasury as their own little piggybank, raiding it at will to parade like well-dressed puppets on the international scene, trying to show off how civilised we tinpot little Africans have become! And dare call it what it is and you're a racist. It's okay for ANC thugs to rape our country, as long as you're Black!!!!

  • Chris - 2011-03-28 21:55

    What I don't understand, is why does the opposition (= DA, etc) not use incidents like this, and there are many, as propaganda? If they prepare flyers, containing the amounts (also stating how many houses could be built), and maybe a picture or two of the hotels, and distribute these in the poor areas, I am pretty sure they'll have a riot on their hands in no time. The poor people in the townships do not read news24 or the Sunday Times (nor do they care to read it) - give them the info so they can act on it! Geez...

      maggielou - 2011-03-28 22:03

      I agree with you Chris, the populace has to be made aware of it. I would like to start some movement that could protest on street corners with plackards - not unlike to the Black Sash. These things are written about and gets forgotten and swept under the carpet. Where's the bloody president who has to fire this incompetent lot?

      An IFP voter - 2011-03-28 22:36

      Sadly, the darkies don't/can't read, so it would be wasted on them. All they understand is free chicken or meal packs at ANC gatherings.

      braveinternetguy - 2011-03-28 22:45

      @An IFP voter - You're missing the point

      An IFP voter - 2011-03-28 22:57

      No, the point is that even if you exposed it to the blacks, they wouldn't "get it". The vast majority of them are illiterate and ignorant. If you told them the reason they're impoverished is because their government is literally stealing from them. They would still vote ANC. Why? Because they're the very definition of goyim.

      GREEN BEAN - 2011-04-09 10:05

      @Chris. Exatelty my thinking. The poor, disadvantaged masses, although they might have a TV in their shack are hardly going to spend money on a newspaper or read News24 on the web. I agree that this reality of waste and more waste by government and politicians should be brought to the attention of the masses.

  • cheryllannhaskins - 2011-03-28 21:56

    Wow! I did not realize that South Africa had so much money to squander especially when there are people out there that are starving and have no homes, electricity and water - how amazing is that!!!!!!!!

  • Pech? Africa - 2011-03-28 21:59

    accreditation for max 4, 49 of "them" took on the trip...wonder if "they" also got spending money?

  • Pech? Africa - 2011-03-28 22:01

    does anyone know what the account number and pin is for the public fund account? or should I just phonen the presidential hotline number?

  • Adolph Visagie - 2011-03-28 22:04

    Damn these darkies can waste money! That's R4 million wasted on business class flights. If you're black african and you vote for the ANC and you're still in a township. You absolutely deserve to be there. (I can say darkie now because the speaker in parliament ruled that it wasn't a slur when Blade Nzimande used it)

      Uncle Spud - 2011-03-28 22:21

      Just been told that the UK are too put a tax on Aspirins because they is white and they work!!!!!

  • Deset Rat - 2011-03-28 22:10

    How do you employ racial demographics in choosing the 4 delegates? Perhaps 2 black South Africans, 1 white South African, and 1 mixed blood ( 50% pure black blood, 30% pure white blood, 20% pure Indian/Malay blood) South African. All delegates will have to be screened prior to selection by a Government appointed Path Lab I presume!

  • s'truth - 2011-03-28 22:10

    @ Tshepo the only thugs are you and your thieving conniving scum called da guvment. Your days of reckoning are coming sooner than you think!

  • Chris - 2011-03-28 22:18

    Surely with 40 in attendance they could have filled their seats at every session - too busy drinking JW blue label!!

  • HowardX - 2011-03-28 22:22

    It's obvious that at the first whiff of a free overseas junket every government official uses the slightest excuse to pile onto the bandwagon. It speaks volumes about the true motivations of the overfed waddling members of our government - clearly money is no object when you want to go shopping in New York, and to hell with the uneducated, starving, homeless masses who are dumb enough to keep voting for them. They probably don't realize what a laughing stock they must seem to the host nations.

      pieter.lombard - 2011-03-28 22:46

      I enjoyed your post. well said. i just wonder if the rest of the world takes notice? i mean all of us (reading news24 and living in sa) obviously think this is ridiculous, but i can't help thinking that the rest of the world (spare our chom mugabe and our cuban comrades) gives a ratt's a$$ about sa or how we spend our money.

  • Bob - 2011-03-28 22:29

    And we PAY!

  • Bob - 2011-03-28 22:30

    And we PAY!

  • Philile Mkhize - 2011-03-28 22:30

    our tax money is being misused as always

  • Bill - 2011-03-28 22:31

    This Government is out of control and not in touch with reality. They just spend big to act big. It is the only way they can feel important, nothing more nothing less. Just a bunch of worthless jackasses! What came of the trip…I bet ZERO!

  • Bill - 2011-03-28 22:34

    This Government is out of control and not in touch with reality. They just spend big to act big. It is the only way they can feel important, nothing more nothing less. Just a bunch of worthless jackasses! What came of the trip…I bet ZERO!

  • Ozman - 2011-03-28 22:36

    Lovely holiday on public money, "get in while you can" ANC Slogan, 38 other family members, disgrace.

  • AquaticApe - 2011-03-28 22:39

    Surely the time for a tax boycott is nigh?

      Stryder - 2011-03-29 16:25

      It won't work seeeing as my tax is paid before I receive my salary, however, if everyone pulled all of their money out the their bank accounts net payday, the country would be brought to its knees. Honestly though, the fact is that the majority of South Africa want all this, we have a clearly defined geographical area that has clearly indicated that they see things vastly differently in the Western Cape. Anyone who is against the ANC should move the western cape. It is the first step to declaring the Cape a republic.

  • Skrappie - 2011-03-28 22:39

    Corrupt Africa.

  • HadEnuf - 2011-03-28 22:39

    I call them VIKINGS - Very important "people" in grey suits - they exist in power all across Africa. They drive Range Rover Sports or Porsche Cayenne's, etc. and have blue light convoys. They think they are important. They also fly first class and stay in five star hotels, wasting our taxes on their frivolous trips. 49 pr!cks on a "Gender Summit" - haha - it would be interesting to see the daily attendance records - I would guess that 5% of the "delegation" attended 5% of the sessions.

      Nico - 2011-03-28 22:44

      What is interesting is actually that I can understand why they didn't attend the conference. Reason: The info is too much for their peanut brains...

  • Monica - 2011-03-28 22:48

    Disgusting!!!It is only in South Africa with so many unemployed people and poor people that live in shacks that the government think they are royals and stars from Hollywood!!!!!

  • william.botha - 2011-03-28 22:49

    Lovely, so where do I sign to join the circle of "friends"?

  • David - 2011-03-28 22:49

    enough is enough. we should begin a tax boycott. Civil disobedience. Wait for the last moment before prosecution then pay our taxes. Bit like delaying payment to a disreputable creditor. When these creeps realise their gravy is being denied to them, they may wake up.

  • JohannV - 2011-03-28 22:50

    All aboard the Gravy Plane! Politics pays well.

  • vaughn - 2011-03-28 22:56

    Beware!! Zuma and the ANC should look north to see what happens when the pigs at the trough can't stop stuffing their faces

  • pilouni - 2011-03-28 23:01

    I'm sure attendance on the city tours were great...95?

      pilouni - 2011-03-28 23:03

      I mean 95 percent.

  • Theuns - 2011-03-28 23:11

    Dit raak nogal 'n versoeking om minder belasting te betaal as wat ek moet ... want hulle mors dan met ons geld!

  • graaff - 2011-03-29 03:24

    I wonder how buckets of KFC was ordered...

  • rsheen1 - 2011-03-29 05:14

    Nothing amazes me anymore....pity about the illiterate uneducated blacks if they could only grasp the concept of corruption i reckon the DA would claim power....but one can only dream

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