Deputy Correctional Services Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize has splashed out on a Porsche Cayenne that cost nearly R760 000, while her boss, Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has splurged on a Lexus LS 460 that cost about R970 000.
The combined cost to the department-which overspent its budget by R500 million in the last financial year – was R1.73m. It also emerged yesterday that the Department spent R6.4m on hotel accommodation, travel and restaurant expenses between April and November this year – nearly R1m more than was spent on these items during the whole of 2008/2009.
The details were contained in a series of replies to DA Parliamentary questions. DA correctional services spokesman James Selfe condemned what he called “rampant wasteful expenditure”. “Our correctional services institutions are in crisis, with overcrowding at 143 percent and a 71 percent vacancy rate for psychologists and 34 percent for social workers.
“The Special Investigating Unit uncovered billions in corruption and yet the Department has not renewed its contract with the SIU. The budget overrun was almost R500m, yet the Deputy Minister has bought a Porsche,” he said.
Minister Mapisa-Nqakula’s spokesman, Sonwabo Mbananga, said his boss had settled on the Lexus because of its comfort and durability as she had to criss-cross the country doing her work. The vehicle’s cost was within her R1.1m limit set by the ministerial handbook.
Mr Mkhize’s spokesman, David Hlabane, said he was waiting to consult with her, as she was in a meeting.
Source: (www.pretorianews.co.za, 20091211)
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