Sisulu mum on R10m for flow­ers

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA

THE of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion wants Hu­man Set­tle­ments Min­is­ter Lindiwe Sisulu to name the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the R10 mil­lion spent on flow­ers by her de­part­ment three years ago.

In a re­cent par­lia­men­tary re­ply, Sisulu re­vealed that her de­part­ment had spent R10.241m on flow­ers, as gifts or do­na­tions in the 2013/14 fi­nan­cial year.

The amount spent by the de­part­ment had been far less in pre­vi­ous years.

The de­part­ment spent R497 076 in 2014/15 and R45 218 in 2015/16.

The en­ti­ties of the de­part­ment had spent sep­a­rate amounts. Sisulu said the pur­chases of flow­ers was for staff mem­bers who were ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal and their be­reaved fam­i­lies.

She, how­ever, said the flow­ers did not nec­es­sar­ily qual­ify to be re­garded as gifts. “The de­part­ment also pur­chases gifts when the min­is­ter meets with for­eign del­e­ga­tions or her coun­ter­parts.”

The DA’s Solly Malatsi said: “Min­is­ter Sisulu and her de­part­ment need to ex­plain why such an ex­ces­sive amount of money was spent on gifts when it could have been used to ad­dress the hous­ing back­log and could have built 100 RDP houses.”

He called for the full list of ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the flow­ers to be made pub­lic.

“The DA will con­tinue to hold pub­lic of­fi­cials and state en­ti­ties who mis­man­age to ac­count.

“But Sisulu, in her orig­i­nal re­ply, in­di­cated that she would not pro­vide the names of per­sons or bod­ies for whom gifts were bought or who were given do­na­tions or spon­sor­ships.”

She stated that a guide on par­lia­men­tary ques­tions “pro­hibits mem­bers of Par­lia­ment, in­clud­ing the ex­ec­u­tive, from divulging names of per­sons or bod­ies when ask­ing or re­spond­ing to par­lia­men­tary ques­tions”.

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