Ramaphosa seeks answers on the aircraft “lift” for ANC officials

President Cyril Ramaphosa has directed Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to furnish him, within 48 hours, with a detailed report on the circumstances that led to her sharing a flight to Zimbabwe with a senior delegation from the ANC.

Mapisa-Nqakula has come under fire after it emerged that she traveled together with an ANC delegation led by the party’s secretary general Ace Magashule to Harare in Zimbabwe this week.

Pressed for comment amid allegations of abuse of state resources by the ANC, the department said the meeting of the ANC in Zimbabwe with ZANU-PF coincided with her meeting with her counterpart in the neighbouring country in preparation for the SADC Troika meeting and the UN Reconfiguration of the Force Intervention which comprises troops from the SADC region.

“The ANC was going to deal with issues that are having a direct impact on South Africa. This is not a common occurrence and has never happened before,” the department said, in a statement yesterday.

But Ramaphosa appears to be not buying the explanation, saying Mapisa-Nqakula had permission to travel to Zimbabwe to meet her counterpart to discuss defence-related matters in the region following a recent SADC summit.

“In the interest of good governance and the prudent and ethical use of state assets, the President has directed the minister to provide a report within 48 hours that will set out the circumstances around the flight and the passenger list,” the Presidency said.

“The president welcomes the interest shown by South Africans in this matter as an indication of the nation’s vigilance against allegations of improper deployment of public resources,” the highest office in the land added.


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