Come clean on R1.6m New Age ads - DA

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Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance on Sunday called for clarity over reports that the communications ministry spent an unauthorised R1.6m on newspaper advertisements.

"It is reported... that this expenditure did not go through the proper approval processes," DA MP Gavin Davis said in a statement.

He said that he asked communications director general Donald Liphoko in a meeting last month whether R1.6m had been spent on a single advert in The New Age, without sign off by the director general.

"He replied that the allegations were false," said Davis.

He said he would be submitting questions to parliament to clarify the matter.

City Press reported on Sunday that Communications Minister Faith Muthambi apparently took out an eight-page advertisement about the Free State government in The New Age newspaper in January.

The newspaper quoted unnamed managers from the Government Communication and Information System as saying that they were caught unaware by the advertisements and that the expenditure had not been authorised.

However, communications director general Donald Liphoko told the newspaper it was being "intentionally misled" about the issue.

"The matters you have raised are all speculative."

Liphoko said if the claims were true they would have been documented as formal complaints.

The department of communications spent R10.2m, which is 11% of its total print advertising budget, on The New Age, in the last financial year.

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