President Cyril Ramaphosa is yet to comment on a report submitted by Defense Minister and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on the controversial trip of the African National Congress (ANC) to Zimbabwe, using an aircraft from the African National Defense Force of the South (SANDF).
The party, led by general secretary Ace Magashule, flew to Zimbabwe to engage the ruling Zanu-PF party over the ongoing economic and political crisis.
After the backlash, Ramaphosa announced that he had given the minister 48 hours to give reasons why ANC officials boarded the plane.
In a statement, Ramaphosa said Mapisa-Nqakula had permission to travel to Zimbabwe to meet with its counterpart to discuss defense-related issues in the region, following a recent SADC summit.
Ministerial spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini said that Mapisa-Nqakula has completed and signed the report.
DA and EFF want ANC to pay
The Democratic Alliance was the first to speak, demanding an explanation from the president and for the party to support the travel bill.
DAs Kobus Marais said Ramaphosa should take action against those involved in the scandal.
Clearly, the visit to Zimbabwe had no national interest. There was a deliberate disruption of state and party lines to allow abuse of state machinery, Marais said.
Given the budget constraints on SANDF, this ANC excursion equates to theft and compromises South Africa’s integrity and security, he further said.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have also added their voice to calls for the ANC to pay for the trip.
And we should not be too dramatic about it. We will ask the defense secretary to bill the ANC, so the ANC pays and they do not repeat that mistake, said EFF leader Julius Malema.
Malema spoke to reporters outside the Magistrates’ Court in Randburg on Monday, September 14, 2020, on the charge of assault.
But going to Zimbabwe, even under blockade regulations, is imperative, urgent, and therefore it would be reactionary for anyone to say that the leaders should not have gone to Zimbabwe, he said.
But since they flew on a government plane, let them pay. Let them get a bill, let them pay. But the mission to solve the Zimbabwean problem must not stop us all, including the EFF, we must put pressure on them to find a solution to the Zimbabwean problem. It’s a separate pandemic and therefore needs to be resolved, Malema said.
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