Unions want Muthambi’s head

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

ONE of Cosatu’s largest unions, the SA Demo­cratic Teach­ers Union, has called for ac­tion against Pub­lic Ser­vice and Ad­min­is­tra­tion Min­is­ter Faith Muthambi, say­ing she must ex­plain the R300 000 she spent to fly her friends and rel­a­tives to her de­part­ment’s bud­get vote.

Sadtu said yes­ter­day Muthambi must pay back the money.

It was re­ported at the week­end that Muthambi flew 30 peo­ple in­clud­ing her un­cle, son, mother and other rel­a­tives and her per­sonal as­sis­tant, who is the daugh­ter of Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng, to Cape Town for her bud­get vote speech ear­lier this year.

Sadtu gen­eral sec­re­tary Mug­wena Maluleka said the union was per­turbed that the min­is­ter would waste tax­pay­ers’ money when pub­lic ser­vants are be­ing told to tighten their belts.

Maluleke said this hap­pened at a time when the union was ap­proach­ing wage ne­go­ti­a­tions and charged it was un­ac­cept­able that pub­lic ser­vants, who are strug­gling to go to work ev­ery day, would have a min­is­ter who spends money like she did not care.

Chair­per­son of Par­lia­ment’s port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on pub­lic ser­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion Makhosi Khoza said she wants Muthambi to ex­plain the ex­pen­di­ture.

Khoza said they were con­cerned about the ex­pen­di­ture in light of tight fis­cal mea­sures to cur­tail spend­ing. “The com­mit­tee’s con­cern arises in the con­text of aus­ter­ity mea­sures im­ple­mented by the Na­tional Trea­sury in re­la­tion to bud­get vote pro­grammes.

“The com­mit­tee will ur­gently en­gage with the de­part­ment to as­cer­tain if there were such ex­pen­di­ture and the ra­tio­nale be­hind the ex­pen­di­ture,” she said.

“The com­mit­tee will also probe al­le­ga­tions of un­fair re­cruit­ment pro­cesses in a de­part­ment that should set a stan­dard for the en­tire pub­lic ser­vice,” Khoza said.

Cosatu said there could be no ques­tion on Muthambi’s ex­pen­di­ture but that it was a waste of tax­pay­ers’ money.

Cosatu spokesman Sizwe Pamla said Muthambi must pay back the R300 000.

Pamla said they were in a state of dis­be­lief about what Muthambi had done and they wanted ac­tion against her and an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­le­ga­tions of nepotism.

This re­lated to the em­ploy­ment of Mot­soe­neng’s daugh­ter in her of­fice and a po­lice of­fi­cer as an ad­min­is­tra­tor.

“The fed­er­a­tion wants th­ese al­le­ga­tions in­ves­ti­gated and the min­is­ter needs to pay back the tax­pay­ers’ money,” said Pamla.

“She should also be dis­ci­plined for her in­dis­cre­tions,” he said.

“Work­ers will re­mem­ber this waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture when they re-open their pub­lic wage ne­go­ti­a­tions at the end of the year.

“If there is money for the min­is­ter’s jun­kets, we ex­pect that money will also be found for pub­lic ser­vants, who carry this coun­try on their backs,” he said.

Muthambi could not be reached for com­ment with her spokesper­son God­frey Mandi­wana say­ing she was at­tend­ing a funeral.

FAM­ILY AF­FAIR: Faith Muthambi

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