Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Thandi Modise reportedly misunderstood what perks were allowed to her and must allegedly now repay R125 953, reports the Sunday Times.
However, Modise disputes this and the report adds she is apparently refusing for legislative and administrative reasons.
Parliamentary officials reportedly picked up on the “miscalculation” and/or “error” and proposed she repay the money.
The amount accumulated over the three years she has been in office. She apparently claimed expenses at the pay grade of a deputy president and because she thought she was entitled to the same perks as Baleka Mbete, the speaker of the National Assembly.
However, she is supposedly only allowed the same perks as MPs and directors-general.
She made frequent trips and was reimbursed for far more of her expenses than she was meant to be, according to documents seen by the paper. She travelled to, among other places, Russia and New York, often receiving double in expense reimbursements than she was meant to.
Her spokesperson, Tsepiso Shuenyane, said Modise was resisting paying back the money because of the lack of clarity on travel allowances for presiding officers.
She said the presiding officers’ handbook would be developed to fix the oversight and it was misleading and incorrect to characterise Modise’s travel allowances as having been miscalculated.
The report concluded with speculation that Modise and her staff had to cancel a research trip to Sweden to learn about decriminalising sex work as a result of her “travel allowance woes”.