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ANC expected to pay back R105,000 for trip to Zimbabwe on air force jet

That was revealed after President Cyril Ramaphosa directed that the report submitted by Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula relating to her trip be made public.

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: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The President has revealed that the African National Congress (ANC) was expected to pay back the state over R100,000 following its controversial trip to Zimbabwe on a South African Air Force (SAAF) jet.

That comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa directed that the report submitted by Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula relating to her trip be made public.

Mapisa-Nqakula has come under fire after she allowed a senior ANC delegation to hitch a lift on the jet to Zimbabwe.

In the report, Mapisa-Nqakula admitted that in hindsight it would have been prudent to inform the president’s office that she would be transporting the ANC delegation, before travelling to Zimbabwe. The ANC was expected to pay back R105,000 for the trip which cost over R230,000.

Over the weekend, the president reprimanded Mapisa-Nqakula for what he called an “error of judgment”

Ramaphosa also suspended the minister’s salary for three months starting from 1 November 2020, with the money going to the Solidarity Fund.

“The President has also directed the Minister to make sure that the ANC reimburses the state for the costs of the flight to Harare and to report to him once that has been done,” said acting Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale in a statement.

“The president took this action after his consideration of the minister’s initial report and a supplementary report that the president had directed the minister to provide on the circumstances that led to the ANC delegation travelling on a South African Air Force (SAAF) plane.”

The statement added: “While the minister was on an official trip for which the president had given permission and for which she was entitled to use a SAAF aircraft, the president found that it was an error of judgment to use the plane to convey a political party delegation.”

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