The Zimbabwe jet scandal has caused quite a bit of controversy in the last week and it doesn’t seem to be easing up. On Wednesday 16 September, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said it would file criminal charges against the ANC delegation who used a military jet to travel to Harare to meet its counterparts.
On Tuesday, the ANC released a statement saying that the delegation did in fact “travel in an unusual manner” and would reimburse government for the use of the jet.
Accused of abusing State resources and flouting COVID-19 lockdown regulations, the DA said it has to take action. The question is, who are the ANC officials that the DA plan to lay charges against?
ZIMBABWE JET SCANDAL: EIGHT ANC MEMBERS IMPLICATED
DA Shadow Minister of Defence Kobus Marais said all of the ANC delegates, who illegally undertook a trip to Zimbabwe in a jet will eventually face criminal charges. For now, however, there are eight that will have charges laid against them on Wednesday.
- Minister of Social Development and head of the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) Sub-Committee on International Relations Lindiwe Zulu;
- ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule;
- NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane;
- NEC member Tony Yengeni;
- Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula;
- ANC’s Head of Economic Transformation Enoch Godongwana;
- ANC Spokesperson Dakota Legoete;
- ANC Chairperson Gwede Mantashe
“Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula made it clear that he did not grant the delegation permission for the trip, as is required by Level 2 lockdown regulations and referred all questions about it to Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. There is also doubt that the Minister of Finances, Tito Mboweni, granted his support in terms of the 2002 Defence Act section 80(3)(a),” said Marais.
“Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu and Minister Mapisa-Nqakula are part of the National Coronavirus Command Council. They were instrumental in instituting many of the regulations and should have known better than anyone that what the delegates were doing was wrong,” he added.
CALLS FOR RAMAPHOSA TO RELEASE MAPISA-NQAKULA’S REPORT
Following the news of the Zimbabwe jet scandal, the presidency issued out a statement calling on Mapisa-Nqakula to furnish President Cyril Ramaphosa with a report detailing the circumstances of the flight and who was on board the flight. The minister was given 48 hours from Friday to Sunday to produce the report. Since then, there has been silence from the president.
“The ANC’s admission of guilt and promise to pay back the money should not deter President Cyril Ramaphosa to release the report from Minister Mapisa-Nqakula. Parliament and the Nation have the right to scrutinise that report,” said Marais.
“It certainly raises suspicion that the ANC made such a dramatic U-turn on the matter after they defended the delegation’s use of the jet tooth and nail last week. The DA can only conclude that the report must contain something so explosive that the ANC hopes to bury it with platitudes and promises of repayment,” he added.