Wednesday, 23 September 2020

ANC LIABLE FOR R260 000 ZIMBABWE TRIP : DA

The DA says the ANC is liable for about R260,000 of the costs incurred when its senior members used an air force jet to travel to Zimbabwe.

DA shadow minister of defence Kobus Marais says this is the cost of chartering an 18-seater private jet from Pretoria or Johannesburg to Harare, Zimbabwe, according to two independent companies that are experts in the field of luxury travel.

“This amount, however, does not include payment for landing rights, parking fees or on-board catering,” he said in a statement issued on Wednesday. He did not name the two companies.

Marais said until the National Treasury, in the interest of accountability and transparency, has confirmed the total amount, and explained how and when the ANC will repay the money, the DA and the public can merely speculate.

He called on finance minister Tito Mboweni and the Treasury to break their silence on the matter.

“The ANC’s repayment of this money does not in any way absolve the party ... We will pursue this matter until all involved have been held to account to the full extent of the law,” said Marais.

Last week, the ANC undertook to reimburse the government for the costs incurred during its controversial use of the jet on a party-political mission to Zimbabwe this month, after a public backlash.

According to defence spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini, defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who was on an official trip to Zimbabwe, gave an ANC delegation led by party secretary-general Ace Magashule “a lift” on the state-owned jet.

The ANC delegation went to Zimbabwe to meet their Zanu-PF counterparts in Harare regarding tensions in that country.

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

 Times

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