Former ministers and spouses fly high on free air tickets

Ex-ministers fly high on public purse

22 November 2020 - 00:05 By THABO MOKONE and CAIPHUS KGOSANA

APOLOGY & CORRECTION: In "Against rules, former ministers and spouses fly high on free air tickets" (November 22), we reported that former ministers and their spouses had racked up bills of R45.3m on flights despite the excessive benefit having been removed in the ministerial handbook last year. The sub headline stated that "Rules don't allow it, but ex-ministers fly high on public purse", and we quoted Kamogelo Mogotsi, spokesman to public service minister Senzo Mchunu, as saying that the free flights to former members of the executive had been scrapped. In fact, while the ministerial handbook has indeed done away with travel benefits, this change does not have retrospective effect and former members of the executive still enjoy the benefits they had before the new rules were introduced. Parliament is drafting an amended policy for all former members of parliament, including former members of the executive. Former finance minister Trevor Manuel complained on behalf of himself and his wife, Maria Ramos, for reporting that the R382 000 in flights spent on them was against the rules. We accept that these flights were not against the rules and apologise to Manuel and Ramos for the error. We also apologise to other individuals mentioned in the story as being benefitted from flights against the rules.

Former ministers and their spouses, including apartheid-era politicians, are flying around the country at a cost of millions of rands to the taxpayer...

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