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'No justification' in buying Zuma a luxury R4bn jet

The DA & Sandu describe it as unacceptable, particularly while the country battles tough economic times.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The possible purchase of a new jet for President Jacob Zuma has been fiercely criticised, with both the official opposition and the South African National Defence Union (Sandu) saying the money cannot be justified.

According to the City Press, Armscor has announced the start of an acquisition process, requesting information about who could supply the jet, which might cost up to R4 billion.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has described the purchase as utterly unacceptable, particularly while the country battles tough economic times.

Sandu meanwhile says the money could be spent on the deployment of personnel or equipment.

The DA's shadow defence minister Kobus Morais says Treasury is already struggling to balance its balance sheet.

"We know that there's R2.6 billion that will go towards higher education as a result of the No Fees Campaign. That's absolutely unacceptable that in this time when people are losing their jobs, unemployment is increasing, that they're even considering that."

Armco has set a deadline for 20 November for information on possible suppliers before the acquisition's board meets in December.

The paper is reporting that specifications for the aircraft include a private bedroom suite, a bathroom and a conference room for eight people on board.

The president's current jet, Inkwazi, is not able to carry more than 15 people and with the new purchase at least 30 passengers will be able to travel with the president.

There has been an outcry over the outsourcing of planes with questions over why the military is not supplying aircrafts.