20°C / 22°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 9°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 3°C
  • Mon
  • 25°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 16°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 10°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 13°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 9°C
  • Tue
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 23°C
  • 3°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 1°C
  • Fri
  • 18°C
  • 0°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 8°C
  • Tue
  • 32°C
  • 8°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 9°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 15°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 12°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 8°C

DA accuses Gordhan of flouting PFMA over SAA vaccine charter flight

The Citizen newspaper is reporting that the chartering of the S340-600 at an estimated cost of R5 million was unnecessary because the vaccine maker, Johnson & Johnson, provided the vaccines on a 'not-for-profit' basis.

FILE: Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The controversial South African Airways (SAA) flight to pick up vaccines in Belgium in February is back under the microscope on Friday morning with reports now claiming that it was not only unnecessary but also illegal.

The Citizen newspaper is reporting that the chartering of the S340-600 at an estimated cost of R5 million was unnecessary because the vaccine maker, Johnson & Johnson, provided the vaccines on a 'not-for-profit' basis.

This meant that the pharmaceutical company sold its jabs at an all-inclusive price, which covered transport as well.

The decision to charter the plane for millions of rand appeared to be in contravention of South Africa's public finance laws.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) now wants Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to account for the scandal.

The party's MP Alf Lees believed that Gordhan and his staff deliberately flouted the Public Finance Management Act.

"He was fully aware that the price included the cost of transport and that there were alternate means of transporting the vaccines back to South Africa via commercial freight service at a fraction of the costs of the SAA costs."

The flight made headlines a few weeks ago when it emerged that the crew had an in-flight emergency just after take-off from OR Tambo International Airport, caused by their alleged miscalculation of the plane's take-off weight.

This resulted in a near stall and a crash was only averted when the automatic safety systems kicked in.

The flight has been slated at "a publicity stunt" to prove that the bankrupt SAA was still a viable airline.

PUBLIC NEEDS ANSWERS

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has called for an investigation into the controversial SAA flight.

Outa's Wayne Duvenage said that the public deserved answers: "The vaccines could have got here without chartered flights and raised these costs, then something definitely has to happen. We also know that there were other flights coming to South Africa, these flights could have been used. So it seems as if not enough research was done and the public do need answers."

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.