South African president gives defense minister 48 hours to explain why air force plane was used to fly ANC members to Zimbabwe

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has given Minister of Defense and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula 48 hours to explain why a South African Air Force flight was used to fly ANC members to Zimbabwe

In a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC, the presidency said Mapisa-Nqakula should furnish the president “with a detailed report on the circumstances that led to the Minister sharing a flight to Harare, Zimbabwe, with a senior delegation of African National Congress leadership.”

“The President notes the public discussion that has been generated around a flight to Harare by Minister Mapisa-Nqakula, who had permission to travel to Zimbabwe to meet her counterpart to discuss defence-related matters in the region following a recent SADC summit.

“In the interest of good governance and the prudent and ethical use of state assets, the President has directed the Minister to provide a report within 48 hours that will set out the circumstances around the flight and the passenger list.

“The President welcomes the interest shown by South Africans in this matter as an indication of the nation’s vigilance against allegations of improper deployment of public resources,” the statement read.

Local news reports quoted ANC NEC member and Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu as saying that the Zimbabwean crisis was a case of national importance – which warranted party members to travel using state resources.

Zulu was part of an ANC delegation, led by Secretary-General Ace Magashule, sent to Zimbabwe by the party this week.

“The visit was for the ANC to meet with their Zimbabwean counterpart, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), on human rights violations in the country.

“Zimbabweans have been subjected to the harshest treatment and arrests for speaking out against corruption and the economic crisis in the country.

“The ANC said members merely took a lift with Defense Minister Nosiziwe Mapisa-Ngqakula who was on her way to the country,” reported Eyewitness news.

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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