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Mapisa-Nqakula makes first major decision

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to meet with predecessor Lindiwe Sisulu over jet.

A South African National Air Force jet. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - There is no luxury Boeing for President Jacob Zuma and no contract was ever signed for one, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Friday.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the US$10 million (about R82 million) deposit for a 300 seater Boeing777 jet will be paid back by Friday.

This is after she announced on Friday the cancellation of the procurement process for a new plane for Zuma.

The minister was evasive about who had been driving the procurement process, whether other bids were considered and how much an offer from Airbus amounted to.

She was also quizzed about why a 300 seater plane was needed for the president.

"There wasn't a signed contract. Boeing happened at a time to have a Boeing, I do not know which client it was ordered from, which was already available. This was then offered to the South African government."

Mapisa-Nqakula cancelled the procurement process but said it will restart before an investigation by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is finalised.

"Everything should depend on the advise that we are given by the technicians. In this case, it will be the National Defence Force, the Air Force and Chief of the Defence Force."

She said she has not spoken to her predecessor Lindiwe Sisulu about the matter but will meet with her next week.

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