Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is unapologetic about offering ANC officials a lift aboard an airforce jet to Zimbabwe in September. #eNCA courtesy #DStv403
CAPE TOWN – The Defence Minister is unapologetic about offering ANC officials a lift aboard an airforce jet to Zimbabwe in September.
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says it’s not uncommon to offer lifts to businesspeople and political delegations.
She was answering a question on the matter in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
“I have given lifts to multi-party delegations. I’m not about to defend the fact that I gave the ANC fuel,” the minister said.
“The reality is that I burned the same amount of fuel. I think from a human point of view it would have been very selfish of me to jump into an aircraft alone and fly to Zimbabwe, leaving people who are dealing with the same issues I was meant to deal with.
“I did not go to Zimbabwe on a visit. Zimbabwe itself is closed. I went to Zimbabwe because I had to deal with serious matters that are impacting on the security of the country.”
Mapisa-Nqakula won’t, however, say whether the president knew she was offering the ANC a lift.
The minister said she would rather wait for the Public Protector to conclude her investigation into the matter.
“I’ve been made to feel like I woke up in the morning, I took an aircraft to see the Livingstone Waterfalls. I did not do that.
“I went to Zimbabwe after recovering from COVID to go and sort out the real critical issues which are affecting not the defence force, not the ANC, but all of us as a country,” she said.
“I’m happy the Public Protector is investigating and I’ve accepted that the president has imposed a sanction on me.
“But it shouldn’t be that I just jumped into an aircraft, crossed the river and went to Zimbabwe on a tour.”