Mercenaries piloted Zuma's plane

2011-11-03 23:22

kalahari.com

Pretoria - The secretary of defence and chief of the air force have both submitted their resignations because of problems with hired aircraft and mercenary pilots for VIPs.

Mpumi Mpofu, who was appointed defence secretary less than two years ago, resigned with immediate effect two weeks ago.

Ndivhuwo Mabaya, spokesperson for Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, confirmed on Thursday that the air force chief, Lieutenant General Carlo Gagiano, has also resigned, but Mabaya said the minister has not yet accepted the resignation as she feels he has to calm down following the stressful and frustrating situation.

Mabaya explained that the frustration stemmed from knowing that money has been allocated to buy proper planes to fly the president and his deputy, but that there is often a delay in the state procurement process.

For Gagiano, the last straw was two weeks ago when Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe had to take a commercial flight to Scandinavia after technical problems grounded the chartered flight booked for his delegation.

A second chartered plane was sent.

Apart from this issue, Sisulu was livid when she found out that charter pilots, who flew President Jacob Zuma to the UN General Assembly in New York in September this year, had served jail sentences for their involvement in the failed Simon Mann coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea in 2004.

Mabaya said the reasons for Mpofu's resignation were confidential, but confirmed that Sisulu is very frustrated with the delay in buying two new planes to fly VIPs.

The contract for the planes was initially awarded to a company owned by a Nigerian group. This company recently sued the air force for delaying the contract.

No plans have yet been finalised for the two planes.

The presidential plane, Inkwazi, has been grounded for two months for servicing.

Two years ago Motlanthe was on a chartered plane that had to make an emergency landing in the dark on an airfield in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a technical problem.
 

Read more on:    kgalema motlanthe  |  jacob zuma  |  lindiwe sisulu  |  carlo gagiano  |  simon mann  |  mpumi mpofu  |  air travel  |  military
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
121 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.