Johannesburg - A written reply to Parliament regarding Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu's use of luxury jets has been withdrawn, her office said on Thursday.
“Minister Bathabile Dlamini, the Acting Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, has written to Parliament to withdraw the reply and conveyed an apology to Minister Sisulu for the inconvenience caused in respect of the reply,” Sisulu's spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya said in a statement.
He said the response was “factually incorrect and misleading”.
Current Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had acknowledged in a reply to a parliamentary question that Sisulu, her predecessor, travelled in a luxury Gulfstream jet more than 200 times between Pretoria and Cape Town, at the cost of R200 000 a trip.
Mabaya said Sisulu maintained she only used the jet 35 times.
Sisulu said: “I am relieved that this matter has been resolved... During my tenure the department of defence received its first unqualified audit report in the history of the SA National Defence Force.
“We left the SANDF in a better state of health than it has ever been before. I am very proud of our achievements.”
Sisulu called on MPs, in particular the Democratic Alliance's David Maynier, to stop “spreading lies”.
On Tuesday, responding to questioning from Maynier on the matter in the National Assembly, Sisulu told him to “keep your flea-infested body at peace and sit down”.
National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu responded to complaints about Sisulu’s remarks by saying he would study the transcript of the debate and make a ruling later. - Sapa