Parliamentary Question: Personal expenses of the former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide





Dr P W A Mulder (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

(1) Whether the State is still paying for the residential and other incidental expenses of previous President of Haiti, Mr Jean Bertrand Aristide, as presidential guest; if so (a) until what date will South Africa continue to carry these expenses and (b) what has been the total cost to date of housing Mr. Aristide, his family and his entourage since their arrival in the country;
(2) whether she and /or her department has engaged in any official discussions with the government of Haiti or the United States of America to determine whether the conditions for his return are in place as agreed upon in the conditions set out in reply to question 478 of 19 May 2006; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(3) Whether any progress has been made in this regard, if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(4) Whether the Government has set a deadline for housing him as a presidential guest on the account of the taxpayers; if not, why not; if so, what is that date;
(5) Whether Mr. Aristide and his wife are earning money for their work at the University of South Africa; if so, (a) what was / were his /her / their annual salary / salaries and (b) how much tax did they pay on their earnings since their arrival?

1. Yes.
(a). The South African Government, at the behest of the African Union (AU) and the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), continues to provide accommodation and services to former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide equivalent to those provided to a South African Cabinet Minister until conditions in Haiti permit the return of the former President and his family.
(b) The monthly costs related to his accommodation, transport, office support staff and security are similar to the cost associated to a South African Cabinet Minister.
2. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation has taken the appropriate steps to address the matter.
3. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation remains of the view that former President Aristide be afforded the opportunity to return to Haiti unconditionally.
4. The former President and his family remain the guests of the South African Government until such time that the AU, CARICOM and key players determine otherwise
5. The Honourable Member is requested to approach the University of South Africa directly on the matter.