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Ramaphosa under fire for ANC’s use of SANDF jet to Harare

THE Democratic Alliance (DA) wants President Cyril Ramaphosa to explain why the African National Congress (ANC) used a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) aircraft to travel to Zimbabwe for strictly party business.

A delegation, led by ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule arrived in the capital Harare on Tuesday, 8 September 2020, to engage the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) over a number of issues affection the neighbouring country.

Magashule was joined by other ANC members including Nomvula Mokonyane, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Tony Yengeni. The group arrived back in the country on Wednesday, 9 September 2020, and were then asked by SABC journalist Samkele Maseko whether they viewed it as an abuse of state resources, to which Magashule responded “No.”

This was the second visit by the ANC as Ramaphosa deployed Baleka Mbete and Sydney Mufamadi in early August, to engage his counterpart, Emmerson Mnangagwa – a decision which drew criticism from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, after they were not included in talks.

“The delegation led by ANC Secretary-General, Ace Magashule, who holds no official government position, met with officials from ZANU-PF. This was not a meeting between the officials of the South African and Zimbabwean governments, but a meeting between the two political parties,” said DA MP Kobus Marais.

Marais said they were disgusted as a party by the ANC’s flagrant abuse of the State machinery and what he called the deliberate muddying of State and party lines.

“Not only do we call on President Ramaphosa to clarify this brazen corruption by his party, but the DA also calls on the ANC to immediately payback the money that SANDF spent on transporting its party delegation to Zimbabwe.”

The party has labelled it as theft and said that it compromises the integrity and safety of the country, given the enormous budget constraints on the SANDF.

“President Ramaphosa incessantly meanders on and on about corruption and maladministration, yet he continues to turn a blind eye at his own party’s complete disregard for the rule of law and the separation of powers.”

Marais said they needed to draw a line in the sand when it comes to the ANC’s relentless abuse of state resources.

“The State cannot continue to be milked dry in pursuit of the ANC’s political ends,” he added.

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