The Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow minister of communications and digital technologies, Phumzile Van Damme, said it was “deeply concerning” that Minister of Communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams allegedly went on holiday with her husband using public funds. Her actions are akin to the former Minister of Communications Dina Pule, who also spent thousands of taxpayers’ money on an overseas trip with her boyfriend,” Van Damme said.
Media reports this weekend said that Ndabeni-Abrahams allegedly used thousands in taxpayers’ money to fund her wedding anniversary celebrations in the US and Switzerland by taking her husband, Thato Abrahams, along without the permission of President Cyril Ramaphosa. She is also alleged to have allowed her husband to attend some department meetings including interviewing candidates for positions on the various boards for which she has political oversight, Van Damme said.
“Although there is no set requirement in the ministerial handbook for the president to approve the inclusion of a spouse for official trips, the Democratic Alliance (DA) still wants her to come clean about her husband allegedly interviewing candidates and attending official meetings on her behalf. Quite clearly, the frailties of the ministerial handbook are yet again being used to justify luxury expenses, at the expense of poor South Africans who are expected to continuously foot the bill.
“The DA will, therefore, submit parliamentary questions to request the full details of Mr. Abrahams’s participation on this official overseas jaunt. The DA will remain resolute and vigilant in exposing ANC’s insatiable greed and will ensure the truth is uncovered in this regard.
Van Damme said the ANC government needed to reduce wasteful expenditure on ministers and follow the example of the DA-led Western Cape. “Where we govern, there are no business class flights and no 5-star hotels,” she said in the statement. The DA will not allow brazen attempts to fool the people of this country to go unchecked. In the current economic climate, austerity measures are a necessity.
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