SA’s Chief of National Defence Force (SANDF)‚ General Solly Shoke, is said to have spent R500,000 on a six-day trip to Cuba with his wife earlier this month.
According to revelations made by the Democratic Alliance (DA), Shoke “wasted” half a million Rand on a trip to Cuba, labelling it wasteful expenditure on the state’s part.
DA’s current exposition came weeks after the party accused the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, of wasting tax payers’ R11,000 at a luxury ocean-facing suite at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks.
The revelation about the SANDF chief’s wasteful act came following the Minister’s comment that Social Grant Beneficiaries should be able to live on R753 per month to buy “adequate food as well as additional non-food items”.
Though the Minister refrained from answering questions about the DA’s allegation, news24 confirmed that she did lodge at the hotel.
Meanwhile, the DA said it would submit parliamentary questions to Department of Defence and Military Veterans, Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula regarding the costs and purpose of the trip undertaken by Shoke, along with his wife and three other military officials to Paris and subsequently Cuba.
“This has simply become the favoured way by Minister Nqakula to cover up details of government corruption,” said the DA’ Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Kobus Marais who said the party will not take a No for an answer to their questions.
The DA claims the SANDF chief’s trip cost R500 000 and luxuries included:
- Business class tickets for the general and his wife;
- 5-star accommodation in Havana;
- An Audi A6 to drive around in.
“Key Defence areas are being neglected to allow senior officials to live a life of excess. Essential equipment is falling apart, and we are struggling to manage peace-keeping commitments. For instance the protection of the ocean economy – which is supposed to be a government priority – is woefully unprotected,” Marais said.
DA’s Marais further added that such excessive luxury is surely not necessary especially when Treasury has tried to implement austerity measures.