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DA: Why is ANC offering repayment if there was no wrongdoing with Zim flight?

The ANC and DA differ on whether Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula broke any law when she allowed a ruling party delegation to hitch a lift with her to Zimbabwe on a defence force aircraft.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on 27 August 2020 appeared before the National Assembly in a hybrid plenary session to answer these questions presented for oral reply. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The controversy around the African National Congress (ANC)'s use of a defence force jet to fly to Zimbabwe has taken another turn.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) now wants to force President Cyril Ramaphosa to release a report on the issue.

The party will be applying in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to compel him to release it.

But the ANC has maintained its support for Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, saying that her granting the ANC a lift with her to Zimbabwe was above board.

The ANC and DA differ on whether Mapisa-Nqakula broke any law when she allowed a ruling party delegation to hitch a lift with her to Zimbabwe on a defence force aircraft.

The ANC said that the official visit by the minister would have gone ahead whether party leaders came along or not.

The ANC’s Thabo Mmutle said that the minister was well within her rights to allow the delegation to come along because international travel was still prohibited at the time.

“Section 80, subsection 3A of the Defence Force Act gives provision for the minister to use her discretion or to assist any person in a situation of need.”

But the DA’s Kobus Marais disagreed: “So far, we have seen nothing and heard nothing that justifies that. Remember, they have admitted that they have done wrong, why is the ANC offering to pay back the money if nothing was done wrong?”

He said the party had no other option but to make a PAIA submission to compel the president to release his report on the incident.

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