The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) want heads to roll and want President Cyril Ramaphosa to act firmly against Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, over claims she abused state resources. Sunday Independent reports that taxpayers footed the bill for Ndabeni-Abrahams’s wedding anniversary celebrations abroad along with her husband, Thato. The couple reportedly took two international trips to Switzerland and New York in 2019, both without the president’s permission.
The publication has cited senior government officials and internal documents which reveal that while in Switzerland, Thato drove a luxury vehicle allocated to Ndabeni-Abrahams from Geneva to Paris for a shopping spree. Tickets for the trip cost almost R80 000, excluding food and accommodation. As if that wasn’t enough, the minister is also accused of allowing her husband to interview candidates for positions on various boards for which she has political oversight.
Sunday Independent reached out to the minister’s spokesperson, who said they did not require the president’s permission for Thato’s travel.
“The president is not required to approve the inclusion of a spouse, as long as it is in line with limits set in the Ministerial Handbook”, said Nthabeleng Motikimi-Dlamini. However, according to Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille, they are required to motivate and seek presidential approval for spouses each time they want to be accompanied on overseas trips.
The Red Berets has expressed anger at the revelations and said in intends turning to the Public Protector over the matter. The EFF is outraged by the continuing tendencies of ministers who treat state resources and use tax payer’s money as they wish. Ministers get their partners to participate in functions and duties which they are not elected or appointed for; these actions breed corruption and irregularities,” the EFF said in a statement.
“The EFF was made aware of these allegations even before the newspaper reports and we will write to the public protector to ask her to investigate if there was a breach of the code of ethics. The minister’s husband is also said to have attended official meetings with her.
The party has further demanded that the president take action against Ndabeni-Abrahams. Failure to take action will be another demonstration of both indecisiveness and lack of leadership by the President. The EFF calls on the minister’s husband to stay away from performing functions and duties he was not elected or appointed to perform.
In other news – Taxpayers foot bill for minister’s wedding anniversary, overseas trips
Communications Minister Stella 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 permission from President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Sunday Independent can reveal that Ndabeni-Abrahams also allowed her husband to attend official meetings. The pair took two international trips in September 2019, to New York and Switzerland. According to internal documents and senior government officials, the minister attended a conference in New York. Read more