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Public Protector might look into presidential jet

Questions are being raised around the purchase a new presidential jet.

High flyer: President Jacob Zuma's office is in the market for a new presidential plane.

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Protector could on Friday be asked to investigate government's plans to buy President Jacob Zuma a new luxury jet worth almost R2 billion.

The Star newspaper reported the purchase of the presidential aeroplane is nearing completion, with a defence delegation in America currently wrapping up negotiations with Boeing.

Questions are being asked whether a tender process was followed and whether Cabinet has agreed to the deal.

Shadow Defence Minister David Maynier said he hopes to write to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela by the close of business.

"I think it is simply wrong to spend R2 billion on a jet for President Jacob Zuma when so many people in our country are so poor."

He said tens of thousands of RDP houses could be built instead.

According to The Star, the 300-seater Boeing 7777-200LR will cost $80 million (R672m) to reconfigure to the president's specifications on top of a $150m (R1.2 billion) purchase price.