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Defence minister to explain ANC cross-border jet jaunt to parly

Defence and military veterans minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is scheduled to appear before her parliamentary oversight committee on October 16.
IN HOT WATER: Defence and military veterans minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is scheduled to appear before her parliamentary oversight committee on October 16.
Image: GALLO IMAGES / RAPPORT / DEAAN VIVIER

Defence & military veterans minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is due to appear before parliament within a fortnight to account for a controversial trip to Zimbabwe during which she gave a lift to an ANC delegation on a military jet.

This is according to senior ANC MP and chair of the National Assembly's portfolio committee on defence, Cyril Xaba, who told reporters Mapisa-Nqakula was scheduled to appear before her oversight committee on October 16.

“The matter is in the public space and the committee deserves to be briefed about the developments pertaining to her trip to Zimbabwe,” Xaba said on Tuesday.

Mapisa-Nqakula was reprimanded by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday and had her full salary docked for three months as punishment for stunning the nation by flying with ANC leaders to Harare on a party-political mission using a government-owned jet earlier this month.

Ramaphosa's reprimand of his defence minister has been widely criticised as a slap on the wrist, with political parties and analysts calling for her to be fired.

The DA estimated the ANC's use of the state jet could have cost taxpayers more than R260,000. The governing party has undertaken to reimburse the government.

DA MP Kobus Marais said Mapisa-Nqakula could prepare herself for a grilling on October 16.

“The DA is of the view that parliament should play its oversight role on this matter to ensure accountability and transparency. We will, however, not allow the minister’s appearance before the defence committee to turn into an exercise to exonerate her. Unlike President Ramaphosa’s slap on the wrist, the minister should expect a grilling from the DA,” said Marais.



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