Cape Town -
DA MP David Maynier is gatvol. And he vowed to publicly read out flight logs of former defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu in the National Assembly if current Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula did not reply to the parliamentary question he asked more than a year ago.
Maynier on Monday said he had had enough: “The minister (Mapisa-Nqakula) has a simple choice: reply to my parliamentary question in 10 working days or suffer the consequences in Parliament.
“The information, which I will disclose, will clearly establish that Lindiwe Sisulu abused her position and treated the air force like her personal airborne taxi service,” he said.
He had now resubmitted the parliamentary question.
Maynier insisted Mapisa-Nqakula could not continue to cock a snook at Parliament.
The minister’s reply remained outstanding despite two letters from National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu to the leader of government business at Parliament, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, to finalise the matter.
Central to this controversy is the R40 million Maynier claims the former defence minister spent on over 200 Gulfstream charter flights.
While Mapisa-Nqakula last year indicated 203 flights were made by her predecessor at an approximate cost of R200 000 each, this was not sufficient detail for Maynier.
His parliamentary question asked for details of what flight was taken when, from where, to where and at what cost on what type of aircraft, chartered or not.
Mapisa-Nqakula’s response on flight numbers and costs was also dismissed by Lindiwe Sisulu.
She rejected the alleged costs and said she had taken only 35 flights.
Mapisa-Nqakula’s reply was subsequently withdrawn from the parliamentary record.
Ndivhuwo Mabaya, spokesman for Sisulu, who is now public service and administration minister, on Monday said there was nothing to add to the earlier statements.
“We have said all we need to say already. There is no need to repeat ourselves. Maynier is a bored MP.”
No comment was received from the Defence Department.
According to Parliament, its records showed of the 336 parliamentary questions to ministers during last year, only one oral and 29 written questions failed to solicit a reply.
During last year, the national legislature dealt with 3 207 written questions and 366 oral questions to the executive. Of the oral questions, President Jacob Zuma replied to all the 18 parliamentary questions put to him, while his deputy answered all his 12 questions, said Parliament.