As the fight against wastage of public funds goes on, another SA minister, General Solly Shoke has reportedly splashed R500 000 of tax payers’ money on flights to Cuba with his wife.
The DA revealed this in its reply to a parliamentary question, saying the Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), General Solly Shoke took his wife and three other unidentified officials on a trip to Cuba in June this year.
“A total amount of R442 643.52 was spent on flight tickets by General Solly Shoke on the trip to Cuba by the CSANDF and his delegation from 13-19 June 2016.
“Accommodation, car rental and all other expenses were catered for by the host,” said DA’s Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Kobus Marais
The DA said it will now be submitting further parliamentary questions to get specific information on:
- What airline the individuals flew with;
- What class did they fly;
- Their full itinerary for the duration of the trip; and
- Whether the flights paid for by the Department of Defence were in line with cost containment measures put in place by the National Treasury?
“This expenditure is completely unacceptable, given that key defence areas are being neglected, essential equipment is falling apart, and we are struggling to manage peace-keeping commitments,” the DA said in a statement.
“National Treasury has also directed Departments to implement cost containment measures given the dire state of our economy. Clearly, the Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, is ignoring National Treasury and equally, is failing to ensure that hard-earned public money is spent effectively,” it said.
Millions have been reported to have gone down the drains following series of wasteful spending from government officials amid strong economic cracks that have left the treasury nearly empty with little or no money to fund various departments.
It was also reported in October that Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini was being investigated for allegedly spending R500,000 on a trip to the United States at the end of June and is again under scrutiny after it was revealed that her department forked out R547,413 for a five-person delegation led by the minister to attend the annual Rainbow Push Coalition conference, in Chicago.
The minister, however, said in her reply that her delegation was booked into the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, the location of the five-day conference.