South African defense minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will not receive salary for 3 months for flying ANC party members to Zimbabwe on air force plane

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has issued the Minister of Defense and Military Veterans Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula with a formal reprimand for conveying an African National Congress (ANC) delegation to Zimbabwe on an aircraft of the South African Air Force (SAAF).

Department of Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula delivers an address at the launch of the Military Veterans Gender Forum held at Mount Grace Hotel & Spa in Magaliesburg. (Photo: GCIS) 
Department of Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula delivers an address at the launch of the Military Veterans Gender Forum held at Mount Grace Hotel & Spa in Magaliesburg. (Photo: GCIS)

“The President has further sanctioned the Minister by imposing a salary sacrifice on the Minister’s salary for three months, starting from November 1, 2020. Her salary for the three months should be paid into the Solidarity Fund, which was established to support the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” the presidency said in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC.

In addition, the President 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.

Cyril Ramaphosa addresses 3rd Anniversary Memorial of the late Nelson Mandela on December 5, 2016, (Photo GCIS) 
Cyril Ramaphosa addresses 3rd Anniversary Memorial of the late Nelson Mandela on December 5, 2016, (Photo GCIS)

“President Ramaphosa’s decision follows his consideration of her initial report and a supplementary report that he had directed the Minister to provide on the circumstances that led to the ANC delegation travelling on a South African Air Force plane to Harare, Zimbabwe on 8 September 2020. 

“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, he found that it was an error of judgment to use the plane to convey a political party delegation.

“The President said that this error of judgment was not in keeping with the responsibilities of a Minister of Cabinet. He found that the Minister: – did not “act … in the best interest of good governance” as required by the Executive Members Code;- failed to adhere to legal prescripts warranting care in use of state resources; – acted “in a way that is inconsistent with [her] position” as required  by the Code.

“In his letter of reprimand to the Minister, President Ramaphosa said he appreciated that the ANC had committed to reimburse state resources spent in excess of those the Minister would have incurred for her approved travel to meet her Zimbabwean counterpart.

“However, the sanction imposed on the Minister demonstrated the seriousness with which the President viewed the Minister’s error of judgment, given her high position in government,” the presidency in South Africa said in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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