ANC says it paid for Harare flight but DoD confirmation still lacking


Indications are Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has not yet followed up on a Presidential instruction to inform him the ANC settled its “account” with the SA Air Force (SAAF) for the controversial September flight to Harare.

On 11 October, ANC Treasurer General Paul Mashatile reportedly said the ANC paid its share of the flight, covering six ANC members who received a ‘lift’ in the SAAF Falcon 900. “The Minister of Defence sent me an invoice a week ago and I [the ANC] paid. We paid 50% of flight costs because half the people in the flight were ANC and half were government. So we paid half, which was over a hundred thousand,” Mashatile said.

Earlier this month ANC spokesperson reportedly Pule Mabe said the money was reimbursed on 1 October.

Mapisa-Nqakula and her deputy, Thabang Makwetla, were present at last week’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) imbizo. After the meeting Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentarian Kobus Marais told defenceWeb Mapisa-Nqakula did mention the cost of the flight but gave no detail on the ANC settling its portion of the flight account of just over R105 500.

Marais has his party’s watching and oversight brief on Mapisa-Nqakula’s Department of Defence and Military Veterans (DoDMV). He is the person who blew the whistle on the September flight of 21 Squadron’s Falcon 900 (ZS-NAN) to Harare from AFB Waterkloof which, in addition to the Minister and a small entourage, carried an ANC delegation supposedly bound for talks with the Zimbabwe government.

In spite of reports the ANC paid its share of the flight, neither the ruling party nor the Defence Minister’s office has yet confirmed this by way of a public statement and at the time of publication no response had been received from the defence minister’s office.

For not following set down procedures for the Harare flight, President Cyril Ramaphosa tasked his defence minister with ensuring payment was made by the ANC and docked her three months  salary.