President gives Defence Minister 48 hours to explain ANC use of SANDF plane

President Cyril Ramaphosa wants a detailed report on the circumstances that led to Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula sharing a flight to Harare with a senior delegation of African National Congress leadership.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has given Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula 48 hours to give him a detailed report on the circumstances that led to the Minister sharing a flight to Harare, Zimbabwe, with a senior delegation of African National Congress leadership.

In a statement released on Friday evening, the President noted the public discussion that had been generated around a flight to Harare by Mapisa-Nqakula, who had permission to travel to Zimbabwe to meet her counterpart to discuss defence-related matters in the region following a recent SADC summit.

"In the interest of good governance and the prudent and ethical use of state assets, the President has directed the Minister to provide a report within 48 hours that will set out the circumstances around the flight and the passenger list.

"The President welcomes the interest shown by South Africans in this matter as an indication of the nation’s vigilance against allegations of improper deployment of public resources."

Earlier on Friday ANC NEC member and Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said the Zimbabwean crisis was a case of national importance – which warranted party members to travel using state resources.

Zulu was part of an ANC delegation, led by Secretary-General Ace Magashule, sent to the neighbouring country by the party this week.

The visit was for the ANC to meet with their Zimbabwean counterpart, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), on human rights violations in the country.

Zimbabweans have been subjected to the harshest treatment and arrests for speaking out against corruption and the economic crisis in the country.

The ANC said members merely took a lift with Defence Minister Nosiziwe Mapisa-Ngqakula who was on her way to the country.

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