Twitter drags Minister – So exactly where is Geneva, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams?

Durban – ‘I have never been to Switzerland, I went to Geneva’ – and with those few words during a television interview, Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams became the Twitter joke on Wednesday.  

The minister had been responding to allegations that she travelled to Switzerland with her husband Thato Abrahams, to celebrate their wedding anniversary last year – at the cost of the taxpayer. The trip had allegedly been undertaken without permission from President Cyril Ramaphosa, a Sunday newspaper reported. 

It also alleged Ndabeni-Abrahams had allowed her husband to attend official meetings. 

After seeing herself become the joke among the Twitterati, she later clarified in a statement that she did make a mistake and had initially meant to deny she had been to France, not Switzerland. 

In January, the Sunday Independent reported that the minister’s husband had allegedly used a chauffer-driven Mercedes Benz S600 to drive from Geneva to Paris, to undertake a shopping spree at taxpayer expense. 

Last year, it emerged that the minister had used state funds to travel to Switzerland to celebrate her wedding anniversary. Business class return tickets for the trip were upwards of R75000. 

When eNCA’s Xoli Mngambi raised the question again during the interview, Ndabeni-Abrahams dug in deep. 

"I have never been to Switzerland. My husband has never been to Switzerland. We went to Geneva and New York," she said. 

She went on to tell Mngambi to call on the journalist who wrote the initial article about her trip, to produce proof. But that said, it didn’t stop Twitter from letting rip. 

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Untitled - Twitter drags Minister - So exactly where is Geneva, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams?

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