While Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini would not be drawn into answering questions about allegations that she stayed at the luxurious Oyster Box in Umhlanga on Sunday at a cost of R11 000, News24 has independently confirmed that she did.
“Yes, she did stay there last night [Sunday] and paid R11 000,” a well-placed source told News24 on Monday night.
On Monday, DA spokesperson on social development, Bridget Masango, alleged in a statement that Dlamini had spent the night in an ocean-facing suite after attending the KwaZulu-Natal ANC manifesto launch in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.
The DA criticised the minister, saying that, through a DA parliamentary question, Dlamini had recently claimed that R753 was sufficient for social grant beneficiaries.
“This hotel stay makes it clear that she herself could not survive on the R753 she expects millions of South Africans to live on from month to month,” said Masango.
The party alleged that Dlamini stayed over at the hotel with two other ANC members.
‘DA corridor gossip’
“The DA will be submitting parliamentary questions to ascertain the reasons for Minister Dlamini’s expensive stay. Who accompanied her? And the reasons for their attendance? And who footed the bill for this stay?”
Masango said the DA had launched its petition for an increase in social grants.
Dlamini did not respond to News24’s questions.
Her spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said the minister would not entertain gossip.
“The Minister will not be dragged into DA corridor gossip. If the DA or anyone wishes to get accurate information, government has processes that can be utilised in that regard.
“It is unfortunate that the DA uses the media to get this information in their desperate attempt to rubbish the work of the Minister.”