Cape Town - Parliament's ethics committee has asked the
public protector to probe reports of abuse of public funds by Co-operative
Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka.
"We wish to refer this matter to your office in terms
of clause 4 (1) of the Executive Members' Ethics Act," the co-chairpersons
of the committee, Ben Turok and Lemias Mashile, wrote in a letter sent to the
public protector on Thursday.
The Sunday Times reported that Shiceka spent R640 000 in one
year on rooms for himself and staff at the One & Only hotel in Cape Town,
flew to Switzerland first class to visit a girlfriend in jail and hired a
limousine to drive him to the prison.
The newspaper said the trip to Bern cost the taxpayer R367
000 in total, and Shiceka had passed it off as official business related to the
2010 Fifa World Cup.
Shiceka has claimed that the Sunday Times based the story on
fabricated documents. However, he admitted to spending over R55 000 for one
night at the One & Only.
"What is wrong with that? Every other hotel was
full," the newspaper quoted him as saying.