She was late in presenting documents to MPs for a turnaround strategy, but it appears she wasted no time in spending over R2-million of taxpayers’ money on office decorations. It is alleged she appointed a nurse to a senior position instead of someone with better qualifications, hired staff with criminal records, and even made sure her friends got top jobs.
Her sloppiness and the reckless use of public resources and power make the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana a definite zero for the week.
A report on an investigation into Xingwana’s department by Fluxman’s Attorneys alleges that an official was paid R180 000 for working overtime and that bursaries worth thousands of rand were awarded with no evidence of a repayment agreement.
Detailing the appointment of a nurse to an ill-suited post, the report alleges the healthcare worker, who had a matric and a diploma in nursing, was favoured over another candidate who had a BA degree in political science, a Master’s degree in project management, and an LLB degree.
Last week, the Mail and Guardian reported that Xingwana was in hot water for buying luxury furniture for her department’s head office. The DA has accused her of spending R2.1-million of tax-payers’ money on this.
The minister and her department were in the cross fire again this week when Members of Parliament tackled her delegation for the delayed delivery of documents regarding the department’s turnaround strategy. The MPs also regarded the report to be in a complete shambles and sent the minister back to amend the document.
Xingwana is no stranger to verbal blunders either. Just a year ago, she had an altercation with South African Airways after she verbally abused a cabin attendant on a flight from Ghana to South Africa. The minister lost her cool, rudely yelling: “Shut up! Shut up! Is it because I’m a k*****?” after she was told that she would not be upgraded to business class. Corruption Watch made her a zero for this too – for blatant abuse of power and influence.