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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma must answer to fresh allegations that he was behind the irregular landing of a private chartered jet at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in April, opposition parties said on Thursday.
Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said she would take "a number of immediate steps" to ensure Zuma answered to claims that a plane ferrying guests to a Gupta family wedding landed at the base under his instructions.
"The seriousness of these latest revelations not only brings into question the ethical conduct of the president, who is now alleged to have abused public resources and institutions on the basis of personal relationships, but also indicates that he could have been part of a cover-up of significant proportions," Mazibuko said.
A government investigation exonerated Zuma and his ministers, and found that the landing was the result of "collusion by officials".
However, affidavits from at least two SA National Defence Force members at a military tribunal hearing directly implicated Zuma in the saga.
Mazibuko said the contradictory evidence meant a "full and proper investigation" should be conducted.
"I will therefore act immediately to table a draft resolution requesting the establishment of a special ad hoc committee in terms of rule 214(1) to investigate the conduct of President Zuma," Mazibuko said.
She would try to grill Zuma on the matter when he next appeared in the National Assembly for questions.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela would also be asked to investigate.
"Advocate Madonsela had informed DA MP David Maynier that this (investigation) could not be done without evidence. The evidence now exists and her investigation should commence," Mazibuko said.
The Economic Freedom Fighters also weighed in.
"Innocent military officers have been severely punished, even facing expulsion from the service because we are being told they acted on their own in putting the country at risk and its protocols in disrepute," the party said in a statement.
It claimed Zuma tried to hide the paper trail as his head of state protocol ensured the unlawful landing of the Gupta's aircraft.
Acting government spokeswoman Phumla Williams came to Zuma's defence, describing media reports on the matter as dramatised and misleading.
"The team of directors general who probed the incident had considered all aspects and had communicated that President Jacob Zuma was not in any way linked to the unauthorised landing of the aircraft," she said.
"The investigation revealed that influential names were deceptively used in order to allow the plane to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base. This is not new information as portrayed by the media," Williams said.
The ANC Chief Whip's office said Parliament and the Public Protector should not be dragged into political games.
"The team of directors general who investigated the incident... looked at these same allegations she 1/8Mazibuko 3/8 talks about and found that names of senior government leaders were dropped by certain individuals to facilitate the unauthorised landing," it said in a statement.
"The story of a colonel alleging to have been instructed by another official who claims to have been instructed by a government leader to act in a certain manner is a typical name-dropping narrative that the investigation has already dealt with."
The office said the DA was rehashing an old story and was trying to sell it as a fresh allegation.
"However, as the ANC, we will not allow Parliament to be dragged into what is clearly a figment of one MP's overzealous imagination. For her to expect the entire Parliament to expend its energies on such a matter is illustrative of how little she regards this institution." - Sapa