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Taxpayers always bear the brunt for govt’s reckless spending

The recent case of axed Prasa acting CEO Collins Letsoalo getting off scot-free following his salary scandal comes to mind.

In yet another one of those ironies – this country seems to have written the catalogue – that on a day when the grasping acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), Collins Letsoalo, was shown the door, another scandalous misuse of public funds has come to light.

Letsoalo was seconded to Prasa by Transport Minister Dipuo Pieters last July and almost as soon as he arrived, demanded a 350% increase for temporarily filling the shoes of the sacked former CEO Lucky Montana. Just to add to the administrative chaos, Letsoalo faces no sanction as he had never been a permanent employee.

In a roundabout way, this is also true of transient Minister Des van Rooyen, who hardly had time to hang his hat before he was replaced as Finance Minister after three days, switching jobs to cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) amid a financial meltdown, with former minister Pravin Gordhan.

Cogta obviously struggled to find him a convenient ministerial residence, and promptly rattled up a bill of nearly R1 million for 122 nights in hotels and two in a guesthouse, presumably while the wallpaper was being changed.

The bill will be footed by the public works department, the state agency which brought taxpayers Nkandla.

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