POLITICAL NEWS - The ANC will reimburse the government for the SANDF flight on which six of its leaders “hitched a ride” with Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to Zimbabwe last week, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule has said.
The ANC delegation went to Zimbabwe for meetings with the ruling Zanu-PF party over a crisis in that country. Zanu-PF has steadfastly denied that there is a crisis.
An outrage ensued when it came to light that the ANC leaders used the South African National Defense Force’s (SANDF) Falcon 900. plane – which was used to ferry Mapisa-Nqakula – on their visit to Zanu-PF.
A number of political parties and civil society organisations have insisted that the party should pay for using government transport, and also that the ANC delegation should go into quarantine in terms of the Covid-19 lockdown regulations, as they crossed an international border. It was also not clear whether they had permission to fly to Zimbabwe, as required by the regulations.
President Cyril Ramaphosa asked Mapisa-Nqakula to furnish him with a report on the flight, and at least two complaints have been lodged with the public protector on the matter.
However, Magashule on Tuesday said in a statement on the trip “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”.
He added that “our delegation is under quarantine in line with our lockdown”.
It is not yet clear where the delegation is being quarantined, or how much the ANC will pay government for the flight.