Public protector won’t let ANC off the hook despite vow to pay for Zimbabwe trip
Cape Town – Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will not be letting the ANC off the hook despite the ruling party declaring it will pay back the costs incurred to fly the party’s delegation, led by secretary-general Ace Magashule, to meet Zanu-PF leaders in Zimbabwe.
Mkhwebane’s spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, confirmed on Monday that she was investigating the matter, saying the African Transformation Movement became the third party to lodge a complaint with her office after AfriForum and Freedom Front Plus.
On Friday, Segalwe told News24: “The PP must still find out what happened and what should have happened, whether there is a discrepancy between the two and, if so, how it should be remedied, so as to avert a possible recurrence.
“In addition, to direct appropriate action to be taken in the event any person is found to have misconducted themselves.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Magushule said: “We travelled in an unusual manner and profusely humble ourselves where we went wrong.”’
The officials will reimburse the government “for the costs incurred on behalf of our delegation”, he said.
In response to Magashule’s apology, the DA said it wants Parliament to be part of determining how much the ANC will pay for the senior party members who used an air force jet to travel to Zimbabwe, TimesLIVE reported.
The party said it will request National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise to call an urgent meeting of the portfolio committee of defence and military veterans to which the department of defence accounts.
The DA wants SA National Defence Force representatives, Department of Defence accounting officers and representatives of the National Treasury to determine the amount the ANC must pay back for “their brazen abuse” of the aircraft.
On Wednesday, DA defence spokesperson Kobus Marais said all of the ANC delegates will have criminal charges laid against them. The officials in question are: Minister of Social Development and head of the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC), sub-committee on international relations Lindiwe Zulu; Magashule; NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane; NEC member Tony Yengeni; Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; ANC’s Head of Economic Transformation Enoch Godongwana; ANC spokesperson Dakota Legoete; and ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered a report on the flight. The delegation travelled with Mapisa-Nqakula, who had permission to travel to Zimbabwe for talks with her defence counterpart.