South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to explain why ANC officials flying to Zimbabwe for a fact-finding mission used an army aircraft.
Ramaphosa has given Mapisa-Nqakula 48 hours to explain the circumstances around the flight to Harare.
The opposition DA had called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to clarify why the ANC-led delegation was able to fly to Zimbabwe, to meet with ZANU-PF party officials, using a SA National Defence Force (SANDF) air force jet.
The ANC was seen arriving in Harare on a South African air force jet for a planned meeting with Zanu-PF.
At the meeting, it was agreed that there was no “crisis” plaguing Zimbabwe, but that the country faced “challenges”.
In an interview with the SABC, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who led the delegation, denied it amounted to an abuse of power.
On Thursday, ministry of defence spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said the ANC meeting coincided with the official work of Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
“The meeting of the ANC in Zimbabwe coincided with the meeting of the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, who was travelling to Zimbabwe to meet her counterpart in preparation for a SADC Troika meeting and the UN reconfiguration of the Force Intervention, which comprises troops from the SADC region,” he said.
The DA said not only does it call on Ramaphosa to clarify what it calls “brazen corruption” by the ANC , but the DA also calls on the ANC to immediately pay back the money the SANDF spent on transporting the party delegation to Zimbabwe.
“The DA is absolutely disgusted by the ANC’s flagrant abuse of state machinery, its deliberate muddying of state and party lines and the fact that the South African taxpayer had to sponsor this meeting between the two political parties.
“Given the enormous budget constraints on the SANDF, this theft of scarce resources compromises the integrity and safety of South Africa.
“President Ramaphosa incessantly meanders on and on about corruption and maladministration, yet he continues to turn a blind eye to his own party’s complete disregard for the rule of law and the separation of powers,” DA MP Kobus Marais said.
Marais added that a line in the sand must be drawn when it comes to the ANC’s “relentless gross abuse of government resources”.
“The state cannot continue to be milked dry in pursuit of the ANC’s political ends,” he added.