South Africa’s Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams made a goof live on NTV by not knowing that Geneva is a city in Switzerland.
When she was dragged in the social media, she had to clarify herself, reported IOL.
The minister was responding to allegations that she took her husband to Switzerland to celebrate their wedding anniversary on taxpayers’ money.
South Africa’s Sunday Independent published last month that Ndabeni-Abrahams and her husband took two international trips in September last year, to New York and Switzerland funded by taxpayers’ money.
On Wednesday the minister appeared to contradict herself by confirming that she and her husband were in Geneva – a Swiss city, during an eNCA interview.
“I have never been to Switzerland. My husband has never been to Switzerland. We went to Geneva and New York, of course to do the work that I am expected to do.”
(Watch the Ndabeni-Abrahams interview as shared by Khaya Sithole:
"I've never been to Switzerland.
My husband has never been to Switzerland.
We went to Geneva and New York…"
— Khaya Sithole (@CoruscaKhaya) February 19, 2020
Later in the day, Ndabeni-Abrahams released another statement clarifying this error after her appearance on TV.
She said she had erroneously referred to Switzerland instead of France, responding to the effect that she and her husband had not been to Switzerland but Geneva.
“I profusely apologise for this error as I meant to say that we had not been to France in that particular instance, but in Geneva,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said.
She added: “Mr Abrahams had accompanied me on an official trip in line with the ministerial handbook.”
According to the Sunday Independent, Ndabeni-Abrahams proceeded to Geneva, Switzerland, to take part in a congress.
While in Switzerland, her husband Thato, allegedly took the chauffeur-driven Mercedes-Benz S600 allocated to Ndabeni-Abrahams, from Geneva to Paris, in France, to go shopping.
An official government letter for the trip, seen by the Sunday Independent, reveals that they purchased two return business class tickets to Switzerland that cost taxpayers R76719, excluding food and accommodation.
Ndabeni-Abrahams said on Wednesday that it was a blatant lie and said journalists must adhere to the press code when investigating.
“As a journalist please make your own investigation and get the reporter that wrote about that to provide evidence,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said.