Ramaphosa reprimands Defence Minister over Zimbabwe trip
Harare, (New Ziana) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has reprimanded Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and fined her three months salary for mixing government and party business over use of a state aircraft by a ruling African National Congress (ANC) delegation to Zimbabwe early this month.
Mapisa-Nqakula used a South African Air Force (SAAF) jet on her trip to Harare on approved government business to meet with her counterpart, Oppah Muchinguri but also carried an ANC delegation that was coming to meet with Zimbabwe’s ruling party, Zanu PF.
The trip caused a raucous in Pretoria, with some having called for the minister to be suspended.
In a statement late Saturday, the South African Presidency said Mapisa-Nqakula would also be fined three month salary, starting November, over the matter.
The fine would be used to fund Covid-19 mitigation programmes.
At the same time, Ramaphosa directed the defence minister to make sure the ANC reimburses the state for costs of the flight “and to report to him once that has been done.”
“While the minister was on an official trip for which the President had given permission and for which she was entitled to use a SAAF aircraft, he found that it was an error of judgment to use the plane to convey a political party delegation,” the South African Presidency said.
“The President said that this error of judgment was not in keeping with the responsibilities of a Minister of Cabinet.”