International relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor has denied that the country ever planned to give R50m in cash to Cuba.
Speaking in parliament on Thursday, Pandor responded to DA MP Darren Bergman, who suggested that the country was using the African Renaissance and International Co-operation Fund, from where the money would be channelled, as an open wallet.
“We do not use the ARF fund as an open wallet, this is not at all true. There is no R50m that will be given or donated to Cuba. We plan to provide humanitarian aid to Cuba of food and medical supplies which will be purchased from SA companies and shipped to Cuba to support that nation in its suffering,” said Pandor.
Her department has been interdicted by AfriForum from going ahead with its plan after the lobby group argued that a mandatory parliamentary overview process was not conducted.
This week the government lost its bid to appeal the interdict.
Bergman, however, on Thursday evening accused the government of attempting to bypass the court process. He based this on Pandor’s explanation to parliament about the donation of food and medical supplies.
Dirco spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele denied this on Friday, saying purchasing food and medical supplies to ship to Cuba — as opposed to donating cash — had always been the plan of the department.
TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)