/ 3 November 2011

You’re wrong about Ndebele’s hotel stays

You're Wrong About Ndebele's Hotel Stays

A spokesperson for the ministry of transport said on Wednesday night that a newspaper report stating that Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele stayed in a Johannesburg hotel for 25 days last year at a cost of R190 000 was incorrect and misleading.

“The report gave the wrong impression that the minister wasted the taxpayer’s money,” Tiyani Rikhotso said.

On Wednesday night he said Ndebele had actually gone to Canada on an official visit during September and October last year, where he stayed at the Hyatt Grand hotel for 11 days.

“I don’t have the figure of that expenditure now, but the money Ndebele spent on that trip was far less than the one reported,” Rikhotso said.

Beeld newspaper quoted a reply on Wednesday by the transport department to a question in Parliament, and also quoted Rikhotso as saying the information was not correct.

The report said the reply was that Ndebele had stayed at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Johannesburg between September and October 2010 for 25 days. It had cost R190 000, including chauffeur services worth R70 000.

He had told the Afrikaans daily that the minister did not use chauffeur services when he was in South Africa, and that the minister would not stay in a hotel if any of his two official residences, in Pretoria and Cape Town, were available. — Sapa