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Last Updated: Friday, 21 January, 2005, 15:10 GMT
SA police to charge 40 'scam MPs'
Several high-profile MPs could face criminal charges
Forty members of South Africa's parliament will be charged with fraud on Monday, police say.

The charges arise from a $2m scam in which MPs allegedly colluded with travel agents to inflate their travelling expenses.

A spokesman for the crack anti-corruption Scorpions police unit refused to name the MPs until they were formally charged.

A report from an accountancy firm was handed to parliament last August.

The police previously told the parliamentary speaker that those being investigated were members of the governing African National Congress and two opposition parties.

Luxury hotels

The 40 MPs account for 10% of South Africa's 400 legislators.

The travel scam involves the use of fake airline tickets and illegal claims for nights in luxury hotels worth $2m.

Politicians regularly have to travel from their constituencies throughout the country to parliament in Cape Town.

For this they are given travel vouchers for economy class flights.

But it is alleged that these travel arrangements were abused, with politicians using the vouchers for example to fly friends and relatives around South Africa.

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