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More questions raised over Zuma's hired jet

Questions have being raised about the cost of chartered jets for cabinet ministers after it emerged...

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Questions have being raised about the cost of chartered jets for cabinet ministers after it emerged that President Jacob Zuma was flown to the United States this week on a revamped luxury plane costing several million Rand.

Arms dealer and ANC funder Ivor Ichikowitz owns the Boeing 727 which was leased for Zuma, while his regular 737 undergoes a three-month long service in Basel.

Last week Eyewitness News reported on how Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was flown to New Zealand to attend the Rugby World Cup on a private chartered plane at a hefty expense to the taxpayer.

The jet has been described as an executive haven that takes luxury to new heights.

The jet was rented through a charter company as part of a government tender.

While its unknown exactly how much the US trip cost taxpayers, the commercial rate is $14,000 an hour.

It cost R500,000 just to fly from Johannesburg to Cape Town according to a quote on the charter company's website.

However, Ichikowitz said government is being sensible as this is a cheaper option.

Meanwhile, he provided the same jet to Zuma for free to travel to Kazakhstan and Lebanon on ANC business in late 2008.

The Defence Ministry said it has no option but to lease private jets while the president's plane is undergoing a major service.

Timeline

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