Redford says she will pay back $45K

Alberta's Premier and an assistant went to South Africa for Nelson Mandela's funeral

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Alison Redford says she will pay back the $45,000 it cost for her and an assistant to fly to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

Redford says the controversy around the expense has become a distraction and she wants to put it behind her.

The premier has already apologized for the high price tag.

Redford has been criticized for not keeping a closer eye on the costs of the trip.

The premier and her aide took a provincial government plane to Ottawa to catch a free flight with Harper to South Africa.

She and the aide flew home early on a commercial flight at a cost of $10,000 each to attend the swearing-in of her new cabinet.