The Democratic Alliance (DA) has come out guns blazing against Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini over her overseas travels and alleged expenditure of R11 000 a night at the lavish Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal.
On Tuesday, the party’s shadow minister for social development, Lindy Wilson, said in her parliamentary response to the DA regarding her travel costs and stay at the five star beachfront hotel, Dlamini gave “deliberately vague responses” to the party’s questions.
“Specifically‚ minister Dlamini‚ in her reply to a DA parliamentary question‚ only accounts for R1.6-million spent on travel‚ which we contend is wholly misleading‚ considering that the latest annual report pitches her travel at R12 million‚” Wilson said.
The official opposition has accused the minister of trying to keep her “smallanyana skeletons” firmly locked up in the closet – a reference to her remarks earlier this year when she claimed that members of the ANC’s highest decision-making body between conferences, the NEC, had “hidden secrets”, hence their reluctance to recall President Jacob Zuma from office.
Wilson said her party has made an application to get a full breakdown of Dlamini’s travel expenditure through the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).
“If she has no more skeletons in her closet‚ then there is no reason to avoid questions with regards to use of taxpayers’ money. The minister has an obligation to adequately answer written and oral questions put to her by any member of the house.
“We are still awaiting a response to her R11 000 per night stays at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks and her justification thereof.”