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DA: Use of military jet by ANC top brass to Zim violated lockdown rules

The governing party has been accused of abusing state resources for a government-sponsored flight to the neighboring country by the leadership of the ANC.

FILE: Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula at a media briefing on 16 March 2020 on plans by government to curb the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Sunday said the matter involving the use of a government jet by African National Congress (ANC) officials to travel to Zimbabwe was a “clear abuse of state resources” as well as a violation of lockdown level 2 regulations.

The governing party has been accused of abusing state resources for a government-sponsored flight to the neighboring country by the leadership of the ANC.

There have been reports that Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula went to Zimbabwe on official duty and gave the ANC top brass a lift.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had since asked the minister to explain why the ANC officials used the army’s aircraft.

The_ Sunday Times _also reported that the Department of Home Affairs said it would investigate whether the passengers that flew to Harare breached lockdown regulations.

In a statement on Sunday, the DA’s spokesperson on defence, Kobus Marais, reiterated the party’s call for Ramaphosa to act immediately and discipline those involved.

Marais said the party did not want the president to wait for Mapisa-Nqakula “to compile yet another ‘report’ in which she will exonerate herself again from wrongdoing and blame SANDF leadership for being misled.”

“Clearly, the visit to Zimbabwe was not of any national interest. There was a deliberate blurring of state and party lines to allow abuse of state machinery,” Marais said.

“Given the budgetary constraints on the SANDF, this excursion by the ANC is tantamount to theft and compromises the integrity and safety of South Africa,” he added.

Marais said it was clear that the ANC delegation broke several lockdown regulations.

“There was no adherence to social distancing, and no permission to leave the country was granted. This would Include Defence Act s80(3) according to which the minister can only allow civilians abroad after consultation with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni,” he said.

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