DA to pursue unsatisfactory answer from Mapisa-Nqakula


Opposition Democratic Alliance (MP) Kobus Marais will be seeking “better” answers from the Defence and Military Veterans Minister during the upcoming short Parliamentary session.

Last year he asked Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula what the purpose was of a visit to Russia by a senior Armscor official, apparently the acquisition agency’s chief financial officer, and how the visit aligned with the needs and mandate of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

Her reply reads: “Armscor’s mandate is to meet the defence materiel requirements of the Department of Defence. Armscor is seeking to collaborate with various countries in the execution of its mandate and the visit was to discuss possible financial arrangements in support of Armscor’s functions and the purpose was therefore, directly aligned with Armscor’s mandate”.

She also told the shadow defence and military veterans minister Armscor “did not open any bank account in the Russian Federation”.

Marais said the Ministerial response “raised more questions, especially as it pertains to “˜financial arrangements”.

“I will be asking the Minister exactly what these “˜financial arrangements’are in view of the fact that Armscor must procure equipment from the Department of Defence budget.”

Parliament will convene on Thursday 7 February for the presidential State of the Nation address (SONA) signifying the start of the parliamentary year. The first session of the year will be a short one with national elections scheduled for later in the year. No date has yet been announced with indications that South Africans will go to polling stations sometime in May.