The sector education and training authority for agriculture (AgriSETA) blew nearly R42 000 to rent a luxury vehicle for its acting chairperson for a period of just three days.

Thami ka Plaatjie, a former secretary general of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) who joined the ANC in 2011, requested the vehicle for a road trip in October 2016.

HINNEWS received documents in its tip-offs inbox that include an “authorisation for internal travel” request submitted on Ka Plaatjie’s behalf.

The AgriSETA staff member who filled in the form wrote that Ka Plaatjie would be “meeting with [the] minister, [attend] Agriculture’s event and [meet with] Prof Mayende.”

Seeing as the SETAs fall under the control of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the document is likely referring to DHET minister Blade Nzimande and his department.

The request form also shows that the acting chairperson stayed at the Southern Sun hotel in Bloemfontein and at the Premier Hotel in East London during the three days he was on the road.

The staff member had also written “Mercedes, pls” next to the section on the form where details about car hire need to be filled in.

The documents in our possession show the AgriSETA paid a local travel agency an amount of R41 775.42 for a BMW X5 used by Ka Plaatjie for his travels.

Queries are coming from all corners of the coutry on the purpose of Ka Plaatjie’s trip, and why he didn’t instead fly.

According to the websites of several local airlines, the trip would have cost the AgriSETA around R6 500 if Ka Plaatjie rather flew instead of driving.