Govt accused of spending R500k to settle Des Van Rooyen’s hotel bill

According to M&G, the minister & his family have been staying at the Pretoria Hotel since January.

FILE: Cooperative Governance Minister Des Van Rooyen. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Government has been accused of spending over R500,000 to settle a hotel bill for Cooperative Governance Minister Des Van Rooyen.

The_ Mail & Guardian _newspaper is this morning reporting that Van Rooyen and his family have been staying at the luxury Pretoria Hotel since January.

Van Rooyen was appointed finance minister by President Jacob Zuma in December, but he was removed after just four days, to avoid further damage to the economy.

Despite austerity warnings from the National Treasury and calls by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for spending to be reined in, Van Rooyen's hotel bill has been calculated at R4,000 a night.

The Public Works Department has defended the spending, telling the newspaper that Van Rooyen had no accommodation in Gauteng when he was promoted to minister.

There's no clarity on how much longer Van Rooyen and his family will be staying at the hotel, which reportedly offers a spectacular 180-degree view of Pretoria and a butler - if required.

After being fired as finance minister in December, Van Rooyen took on the responsibility of overseeing the local government elections set for 3 August and has drawn controversy for a brief trip to Dubai, which he denies was to meet the Gupta family.