Finance minister defends Ramaphosa plane decision

2015-10-05 21:21
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives in Japan. (GCIS)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives in Japan. (GCIS)

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Cape Town - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's trip to Japan on a plane linked to the Guptas and to the president's son was defended in a parliamentary reply on Monday.

In a written reply to EFF MP Floyd Shivambu, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene explained the lengthy process of tendering and bid evaluation in order to become a preferred supplier, and how the controversial long-range aircraft was chosen.

Shivambu was told that because of the unavailability of a long range plane, government resorted to a contract that was available for such situations.

Also, should appointed suppliers not be in a position to render the required services in terms of a contract, participating government institutions were allowed, in terms of the contract, to procure services outside of it to meet their requirements. 

In the case of Ramaphosa's visit, the SA Air Force (SAAF) first approached Fortune Air, which is the first ranked supplier in terms of Contract RT61 - the supplier for this particular service.

"However, Fortune Air could not provide an aircraft meeting the requirements for this flight. To ensure value for money, SAAF requested other quotes outside of Contract RT61. 

"These quotes were, however, more expensive than the rates offered by ExecuJet on Contract RT61. SAAF therefore decided to use ExecuJet."

When the ownership of the jet, dubbed the "gravy plane", was linked to the Guptas and President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane, there was an outcry.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said at the time that the department had done everything by the book and that Ramaphosa did not know who owned the plane.

Read more on:    eff  |  floyd ­shivambu  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  nhlanhla nene

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