Govt. continues to splash funds on jet leases

It has emerged the Defence Department is still leasing a private jet to fly the deputy president.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe speaking at a meeting with members of the Road Freight Association. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - It has emerged the Department of Defence is still leasing a private jet to fly the deputy president at a cost of several million rand to the taxpayer.

It is more than a year and a half since former Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu allegedly asked for two large Boeing 767s for President Jacob Zuma and two 737s for his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe.

Eyewitness News has repeatedly revealed how government is paying tens of millions of rands to ferry government's VVIPs around the globe, instead of using an adequate air force fleet.

Earlier this month, Motlanthe was flown to Italy on an official visit on board a Boeing 727, using his call sign South Africa Two.

A photograph posted on a government website shows Motlanthe and his partner exiting the plane.

The aircraft, owned by ANC supporter and arms dealer Ivor Ichikowitz, is the same plane used by the president in his controversial shadow plane trip to the United Nations general assembly last year.

Meanwhile, an official Air Force Falcon 50 was used to fly newly-elected chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to Addis Ababa last week - even though she is no longer a government official.

The Department of Defence has refused to comment on Motlanthe's flight and says transporting Dlamini-Zuma was an official task.

In July, government canned a R2 billion rand deal to procure a new jet for the president.