DA’s “boycott” of SONA festivities too late

BY CHARL BOSCH - FEBRUARY 11, 2015

A request by the Democratic Alliance (DA) to boycott the pre- and post-State of the Nation cocktails parties, claiming it to be a waste of expenditure, has been turned down by Parliament.

In a statement on Friday, Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said that the SONA budget of R4-million was nothing but a “fruitless expenditure that could have been utilised in addressing real problems” and that “MP’s cannot wine and dine at the expense of the taxpayer”.

According to an article by CityPress, National Council of Provinces Deputy Chairperson, Raseriti Tau, said that the party’s change of heart was too late and that the money on hosting them and their guests had already been spend.

“The DA must then explain how are they going to pay back whatever that has been budgeted to host them and their guests,” he is quoted by the paper as saying.

In a statement on the party’s website yesterday, Chief Whip John Steenhuisen, said that they had only been informed about the festivities last Thursday and that Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli’s remarks about the DA not providing a notice of their intensions, was an “attempt to mislead the media and deflect his office’s embarrassment.”

“For Deputy Speaker Tsenoli to suggest that we had known about it for a year is simply misleading. Furthermore, accusations that we had requested additional tickets to the reception are completely untrue,” Steenhuisen wrote.

“Our caucus had only requested addition tickets for the State of the Nation Address, which is what the focus of the day should be about – not lavish parties”

It has since emerged that the Congress of the People (COPE) had withdrew its MP’s from the post-SONA dinner with spokesperson, Dennis Bloem, labelling the R2500 per person fee as “unwarranted”.

 

IMAGE sourced from welections.wordpress.com