Sacked public works minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde spent almost R500 000 on public relations consultants in the weeks before her axing, according to a report on Wednesday.
Mahlangu-Nkabinde, who was removed from office in October, spent the money on Mpine M Consulting, according to a written reply to a parliamentary question by her successor, Thulas Nxesi.
The Star newspaper reported that the Centurion-based firm was contracted to "help strengthen media expertise within the department".
A total of R250 822 was spent on 5 September and another R237 142 on 16 September.
Mahlangu-Nkabinde was sacked after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found her decision to give the go-ahead for multi-million-rand leases for police headquarters in Pretoria and Durban, despite legal advice to the contrary, amounted to maladministration.
However, Mahlangu-Nkabinde at the time said it all happened before she was appointed minister.