The DA on Monday wrote to Treasury to determine whether the Finance Minister Tito Mboweni consulted with Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in terms of the Defence Act before she and the delegation left South Africa.
FILE: Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula at a media briefing on 16 March 2020 on plans by government to curb the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa. Picture: EWN
CAPE TOWN – The Democratic Alliance (DA) is still not satisfied with how the Presidency handled a controversial trip to Zimbabwe in which an African National Congress (ANC) delegation hitched a ride on a military plane.
The DA on Monday wrote to National Treasury to determine whether the Finance Minister Tito Mboweni consulted with Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in terms of the Defence Act before she and the delegation left South Africa.
It sparked outrage with the governing party being accused of abusing State resources. The ANC promised to pay back the money after initially denying the trip amounted to an abuse of state resources.
The ANC was expected to pay back R105,000 for the trip which cost over R230,000.
When President Cyril Ramaphosa asked for a report on the trip, the party changed its tune. While Mapisa-Nqakula was publicly censured by the president and docked several month’s pay, the DA was still not happy.
The party wants to know what steps Treasury, if any, would take against the minister and the ANC.
DA MP and the party’s spokesperson on defence, Kobus Marais, said he was enquiring from Treasury whether it was involved and approved Mapisa-Nqakula’s calculations of the cost of the journey.
Marais cited the Defence Act and emphasised that it clearly stated that the defence minister should first consult the minister of finance before allowing conveyance of any person who is not an officer or employee of the State on board a South African Air Force (SAAF) aircraft.
“However, there is no reference in any of the two reports submitted by Minister Mapisa-Nqakula to President Cyril Ramaphosa of any consultation with the Finance Minister. If, as we suspect, Minister Mboweni was not consulted, then the use of the SAAF jet by the ANC delegation results in irregular, wasteful and unauthorised expenses,” Marais said in a statement.
He added: “The DA wants to know what steps Treasury will take against minister Mapisa-Nqakula and the ANC’s blatant and unauthorised abuse of State resources.
“Additionally, as far as the costs are concerned, the DA wants to know if Treasury was consulted by Minister Mapisa-Nqakula to determine a reasonable amount the ANC must pay back for abusing State resources.”