'We have nothing to answer for' – defence minister on Japan trip

2015-08-28 11:30

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says there was nothing untoward about Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's use of a plane owned by the Guptas for an official visit to Japan.

Cyril Ramaphosa

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Last Updated at 11:34
28 Aug 11:25
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula answers individual questions after concluding her press briefing...

28 Aug 11:21

Defence Minister Mapisa-Nqakula again stresses that everything was done 'by the book', and there is no case for the SANDF to answer.

She concludes her press briefing...

28 Aug 11:18

"Someone mischievously suggested that the Deputy President should have said no.

"But he was in no position to know who owned the aircraft.

"Let's not create a crisis where there isn't a crisis."

28 Aug 11:17

"The problem is people are not looking at the processes, they are looking at who owns the company," argues the defence minister.

"We have no control over who owns the aircraft."

28 Aug 11:16
"All of the information available to me tells me that everything was done by the book."

28 Aug 11:16

28 Aug 11:14

“We are concerned by the lack of trained pilots and commanders in the Air Force," the defence minister says in response to a question from Netwerk24's Erika Gibson.

“We have not cancelled any contracts with regards to simulation training for future pilots. We hope they will be trained up in 6 to 7 years.”

28 Aug 11:10
Defence Minister Mapisa-Nqakula facing a barrage of questions from the media...

28 Aug 11:09

Two sets of cost involved in chartering a plane. The aircraft itself and the services required to get the aircraft to its destination.

“When we charter an airplane, that plane is handled the exact same way as any other airplane.”

The cost of R5m would have been, roughly, the same, says the defence minister.

28 Aug 11:06

28 Aug 11:05

28 Aug 11:04

“The most important thing was to ensure Ramaphosa’s safety and comfort,” she concludes.

"In the manner in which we've dealt with this matter, we've not been remiss at all.”

28 Aug 11:02

28 Aug 11:00
“ExecuJet was not obliged to disclose to us who the owners of the plane are. In my view, there was nothing untoward.”

28 Aug 10:58
“ExecuJet is a facilitator. ExecuJet itself doesn't own and operate its own planes, but manages a fleet on behalf of various owners,” says Mapisa-Nqakula.

28 Aug 10:57
Mapisa-Nqakula explains that ExecuJet was the second company on the list, as the first company wasn't well-suited.

28 Aug 10:56

“A contract to charter is awarded and managed by Treasury.  

“The company with the highest points [according to security requirements] must be approached.”

28 Aug 10:55
Mapisa-Nqakula: “With no more suitable planes available, the next option is to charter, which can only be done via two options.”

28 Aug 10:54
Mapisa-Nqakula says the only other aircraft closest to fitting the requirements would have had to make several stops.

28 Aug 10:54

28 Aug 10:52
Mapisa-Nqakula stresses that the defence ministry, not the Presidency, governs travel of the Presidentm and his Deputy.

28 Aug 10:51
“The flight plans of executive members is a mandated responsibility of the South African Airforce.”

28 Aug 10:50
“Given the intense media scrutiny, we want to give the facts of the matter,” Mapisa-Nqakula says.

28 Aug 10:49
The defence minister has started her briefing...

28 Aug 10:47
The trip is reported to have cost R5m.

28 Aug 10:47

On Thursday, the EFF said President Jacob Zuma's executive using the Gupta-family plane for an official state visit shows their arrogance and immunity to any accountability.

"As the EFF, we have as a matter of urgency written a question for written reply to both the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Finance, seeking clarity on whether proper procurement processes were followed in granting the contract to a company owned by the friends of the president and his son," acting spokesperson Lehlohonolo Mokoena said.

"We abhor the flourishing normalisation of corruption under President Zuma, wherein those close to the president and to the ANC get huge government contracts under questionable circumstances."

28 Aug 10:47

28 Aug 10:47

On Wednesday, it was reported that the defence department hired the Bombardier Aerospace plane through a state-managed contract with service provider ExecuJet.

The Bombardier Aerospace, with registration ZS-OAK, left Waterkloof Air Force Base last Friday night under the call sign "South Africa 2", reserved for the deputy president.

Ramaphosa was then photographed arriving in Tokyo in the aircraft on Saturday night.

28 Aug 10:47

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is expected to shed light on claims that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa used a plane owned by the Guptas for an official visit to Japan.

Ramaphosa is due to attend a round table "Men's Dialogue" at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg on promoting health and well-being of families and communities on the same morning.

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