Parliament - Democratic Alliance defence spokesman David Maynier wants to regift the cheap calculator he received from Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu for Christmas.

“I'm thinking of giving it to the defence minister, because she seems to have lost count of the number of flights on Gulfstream jets,” Maynier said on Wednesday.

He was sent a mini-calculator for Christmas by Sisulu, who has denied that while defence minister she took 203 flights on the luxury jets. With the gift was a note which explained that it was meant to “assist you to count better”.

In a particularly heated exchange with Maynier in the National Assembly this month, Sisulu said the true figure was 35, before telling the opposition MP to “keep his flea-infested body at peace and sit down”.

It came after current Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula indicated in reply to a parliamentary question that Sisulu travelled in a luxury Gulfstream jet more than 200 times between Pretoria and Cape Town, at the cost of R200 000 a trip.

The defence ministry later withdrew the reply.

Maynier, who insists Sisulu wasted millions in public funds on chartered flights, quipped that the gift was not up to her usual standards.

“Unusually for the minister it says 'value pack',” he said pointing to the cover of the calculator.

Maynier said he was now counting the days before Christmas and the ways in which he could repay Sisulu's largesse.

Top of the list was a budget flight on Kulula to “allow her to get back in touch with ordinary people”, he said.

Sapa