POLITICAL NEWS - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has rejected the R105,000 bill the African National Congress (ANC) needs to pay for its use of a South African Air Force (SAAF) jet to Zimbabwe this month, which carried party delegates while the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, was on official business to the country.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa made the documents on the matter public on Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement, DA MP Kobus Marais said that there were gross under-calculations in determining the amount the ANC has to repay for “abusing” the Falcon-900 aircraft.
“R105,545.46 is not nearly enough for this brazen abuse of power and rare state resources.”
Marais argued that the bill had to be higher after consulting with experts in the flight industry over the matter.
“The DA last week reached out to two independent companies that are experts in the field of private international travel to request the cost of chartering an 18-seater private jet from Pretoria or Johannesburg to Harare, Zimbabwe.
“The amount, only for the flight itself, came to approximately R260,000. It did not even include payments for landing rights, parking fees or on-board catering. Meaning that the figure is much higher.”
The MP further accused Mapisa-Nqakula of “grossly” under-calculating the total cost of the flight “based on irrelevant formulas”.
“She also apportioned cost to the ANC based on the number of occupants. This does not make sense given the fact that without the ANC on board there would not have been a need for a massive air force jet in the first place.
“The DA has previously pointed out that the Minister usually uses the much smaller 9-seater jet for state visits to Zimbabwe and that this much bigger 18-seater jet was used for the specific purpose of accommodating the ANC delegation.”
Marais added that the DA maintains its stance on the ANC repaying R260,000.
“The Minister’s audacity to think that South Africans will accept this R100,000 price tag is embarrassing. And President Cyril Ramaphosa should equally hang his bead in shame for accepting Minister Mapisa-Nqakula’s pathetic report.”