- Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has come under fire for the cost of his and his wife's travel expenses last year
- In a reply to a question by DA shadow minister of finance David Maynier, it was discovered tax payers' footed Norma Gigaba's travel expenses, which totalled to over R800 000
- However, according to Gigaba's spokesman, he did nothing wrong with letting his wife accompany him since it is not against the Ministerial Handbook
In a period of just five months, former finance minister Malusi Gigaba's six international trips totalled R1.5 million, and tax payers docked up for his wife to accompany him.
The travels took place between 19 June and 17 November last year, and included destinations such as New York, London and Shanghai, just to name a few. The Sowetan reported these trips cost over R1.37 million.
As Briefly.co.za reported previously, the DA’s shadow minister of finance David Maynier asked Gigaba if Norma accompanied him on any international trips during his tenure as finance minister and if she did how much each trip had cost.
According to Gigaba’s reply revealed she did accompany him and her travel expenses totalled R873 366.68.
However, Gigaba's spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete, came to his defence on Thursday saying no law had been broken.
"Gigaba is not the first minister to be accompanied by his spouse when travelling abroad. All ministers are allowed to be accompanied by their spouses," Tshwete said.
"If it is wrong, then it should be wrong for all of ministers. I don't see why they should isolate Gigaba on this one."
However, Maynier disagreed, adding Gigaba should lead by example and the travel costs for his wife could not be justified when taking into consideration the country's economical climate.
"Even if the expenses are in line with the guidelines set out in the Ministerial Handbook, the minister should do the right thing and 'pay back the money' to National Treasury," Maynier said.
Mrs Gigaba shared photos of her international trips on her Instagram. In one post on 17 November, she was at the lavish Maria Bay Sands hotel in Singapore, a five-star hotel with rooms starting at R4900 per night.
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