Defence bosses quit

2011-11-04 07:07

The secretary of defence, Mpumi Mpofu, and the head of the air force, Lieutenant colonel Carlo Gagiano, have reportedly resigned.

The Mail & Guardian reported that this was because deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe missed an official state visit to Finland last month because the aircraft he was supposed to use had mechanical problems. He had to take a commercial flight to Sweden the following day.

Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s spokesperson, Ndivhuwo Mabaya, confirmed to the weekly newspaper that Mpofu had resigned, but would not comment on the reason for his resignation.

The Mail & Guardian said Gagiano also handed in his resignation, but that Sisulu had yet to accept it.

In 2009, Motlanthe’s plane had to make an emergency landing while flying back from Libya, and in September this year, the plane flying him to the opening of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand missed its first landing slot “as a precautionary measure”.

Beeld newspaper reported today that there was another reason for the resignations, apart from Motlanthe’s plane problems.
It said President Jacob Zuma was recently flown to the United Nations in New York by two mercenaries.

The two pilots were involved in the 2004 plot to overthrow Equatorial Guinea and served jail time for this. Sisulu was apparently furious about the flight, the newspaper reported.

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