President Jacob Zuma should consider reprimanding Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson for violating the executive ethics code, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Monday.
Madonsela said the department’s acting director-general should recover about R150 000 Joemat-Pettersson unlawfully incurred for return flights of her two children and their au pair from Sweden to South Africa in January 2010.
The minister travelled to Sweden in December 2009 on official business where she held meetings on matters relevant to her portfolio.
The trip was combined with a family holiday, which started at the end of the official trip on December 23.
Joemat-Pettersson, however, had to cut the holiday short when she was recalled by the Presidency and returned on January 1, 2010.
“The return trips of the minister’s children and au pair were paid for by the state in violation of the provisions of paragraph 3.4 of Chapter 6 of the Ministerial Handbook, in the amount of R151,878,” Madonsela found in her report.
The Public Protector also investigated whether the minister used public funds in occupying expensive accommodation at hotels while she was awaiting the allocation of her official residences in Cape Town and Pretoria. - Sapa