Monday, August 27, 2007

'Mbeki is a hypocrite' - DA

By Rhodé Marshall
27 August 2007

The Democratic Alliance says President Thabo Mbeki, has made himself guilty of hypocrisy by pursuing every last cent he can extract from the former deputy minister of health, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, while the minister of health escapes unscathed.

“The minister of Health has spent exorbitant amounts of public money on helicopters to travel around the Eastern Cape visiting hospitals with her nine MEC’s, which seem to be misleadingly patched up the day before she arrives,” says DA spokesperson Mike Waters.

Waters says this can be described as an abuse of state resources, as the minister ordered the hire of four twin-engine helicopters for her tour.

“Three of the helicopters were flown in from Johannesburg and one from Cape Town.

All at a cost of R17 000 an hour, for 26 hours of flying time per helicopter, the grand total seems to be a staggering at R442 000,” says Water.

He added that the DA finds it extremely hypocritical that the Minister made a public announcement that there are limited amounts of funds available for the maintenance of Frere Hospital in the Eastern Cape.

"We also find it hypocritical of President Mbeki, who is now demanding that the former deputy health minister pay back money of trips she took as far back as 2001."

The president should be a lot more consistent with his application of the law,” says Water.

The DA will be asking parliamentary questions regarding all of these issues.

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