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Spendthrift minister to be probed

Apr 14 2011 17:13 Sapa

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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.

 
sicelo shiceka  |  fraud
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