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R2bn jet deal cancelled

The defence minister said on Friday the procurement process of a new jet was cancelled.

The defence minister said on Friday the procurement process of a new jet was cancelled.

JOHANNESBURG - Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula announced on Friday that a R2 billion deal to buy a new jet for the Jacob Zuma has been cancelled.

She said on Friday she met with US-based company, Boeing, and told them the procurement process was cancelled.

The minister insisted the deposit for the 300-seater Boeing 777 was fully refundable.

"I have met with the companies approached to submit proposals for the VVIP aircrafts, including Boeing, and informed them the process has been cancelled."

Earlier this week former Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu issued a statement, washing her hands of the responsibility and stated that she had advised against the purchase of the plane.

The issue of transporting VVIPs has long haunted defence ministers with scandals of gravy planes, faulty chartered aircrafts and questions around the Air Force's capabilities.

Mapisa-Nqakula has been in the job for less than a month and has already taken her first major decision in her new portfolio.