Winnie Mandela Slammed For Lavish Expenses
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ President Nelson Mandela’s estranged wife, Winnie, was criticized Thursday for charging expenses for her private bodyguards to the state.
Mrs. Mandela, now deputy minister of arts, culture, science and technology in her husband’s Cabinet, charged air tickets and luxury hotel accommodations for her bodyguards, government officials said.
Bernard Louw, director general of the ministry, said the state had accepted responsibility for the undisclosed costs because Mrs. Mandela’s use of private guards was a ″unique″ situation, according to the Argus newspaper.
However, negotiations are under way to establish ″how such costs can be handled within laid-down procedures,″ he said.
The National Party said Thursday the expenses during the visit to Cape Town for a Parliament session last month should not be condoned.
″It is incidents such as this that make a mockery of President Mandela’s election promise that the so-called gravy train must stop,″ the party said in a statement. ″It rather seems that the gravy train is gathering momentum.″
The Mandelas separated in 1992, after she was convicted on a charge of kidnapping and linked to an extramarital affair.