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ANC to reimburse govt for trip to Zimbabwe on SANDF plane

The party said it "humbles itself in any wrongdoing", and has committed to paying back government for the irregular use of state resources for the trip to Zimbabwe.

FILE: ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe. Picture: EWN

BRITS– The African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday said it would reimburse government for the trip to Zimbabwe, where senior members of the party travelled on an Air Force flight to attend a meeting with the ruling ZANU-PF amid allegations of human rights violations in that country.

The office of the Presidency has said President Cyril Ramaphosa was studying a report from Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula after he gave her 48 hours to explain the irregular use of state resources.

There have been calls from political parties and civil organisations for the ANC to explain the circumstances around the trip, including the alleged flouting of COVID-19 regulations applicable to international travellers.

In a statement by party spokesperson Pule Mabe, the ANC stops short of apologising.

“…in our quest to achieve this mission, we travelled in an unusual manner and profusely humble ourselves where we went wrong during the lockdown and will reimburse the government for the costs incurred on behalf of our delegation. Our delegation is under quarantine in line with our lockdown regulations.”

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED...

The ANC has said the meeting between the delegation, led by its secretary-general Ace Magashule, and the ZANU-PF was successful.

Following growing calls for intervention in the neighbouring country, with reports of violence, abductions and government clamping down on critics, the ANC delegation met with leaders of the ruling party last week and gave feedback to its national officials on Monday.

Mabe described the engagement as peaceful and cordial.

"As the ANC we would like to appreciate the success of our delegation mission of national interest to Zimbabwe with both hands because a successful and prosperous Zimbabwe as our neighbour is good for South Africa, the SADC region and our beloved continent Africa."

However, the party has been criticised for failing to meet with other stakeholders during its fact-finding mission. In response, Magashule said they would be returning at a later stage to engage other parties, adding that the ZANU-PF supported this.

This was reiterated in Tuesday's statement.

"The ANC therefore warmly welcomes the constructive approach of ZANU-PF with regards to the ANC meeting with other stakeholders, opposition parties, and civil society organisations in Zimbabwe. In this regard, it was agreed that the ANC will in the foreseeable future return to Zimbabwe in order to proceed with these envisaged meetings."

The party said it, along with its Zimbabwean counterpart, remains committed to the protection of human rights on the continent.

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