Zuma's plane malfunctions in Uganda

2016-05-13 12:32
Kgosientso Ramokgopa and Nomvula Mokonyane visit houses in Soshanguve (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Kgosientso Ramokgopa and Nomvula Mokonyane visit houses in Soshanguve (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma missed door-to-door meetings in Shoshanguve in Pretoria on Friday morning, apparently because his plane malfunctioned in Uganda, causing a delay in his flight.

Nomvula Mokonyane, the head of the ANC's election campaign, told disappointed supporters that Zuma had only arrived in South Africa in the early hours of Friday morning, and that he had important meetings to attend, including one with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

"The government jet was unable to depart in Uganda," she said in Sotho, adding that the plane would not start.

Mokonyane did not elaborate further and it was not immediately clear exactly what had happened and how Zuma had eventually returned to South Africa. The Presidency was not immediately reachable for comment on Friday morning.

The defence ministry this week announced that a new jet would be bought for the Presidency. Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa have been left stranded several times this year due to breakdowns of the presidential Boeing 737, known as Inkwazi.

Mokonyane said she and other ANC officials were there in Soshanguve on Friday to do party work.

"We have come here to do his work... to represent him, Mokonyane said over a loudspeaker from the back of a bakkie.

'I hope he speaks about bigger houses'

Residents, singing and dancing, had come out in their numbers in chilly weather to catch a glimpse of Zuma.

Among those waiting for Zuma was Caroline Smith, who has been living in the township for about three years.

Smith said she wanted to see Zuma and was hoping that he would address some of the challenges they face. 

"I hope he speaks about bigger houses and I'm also hoping that he will speak about tarring of roads," she said.

The ANC's leadership was visiting Soshanguve to interact with residents as the party prepares for elections.

Tshwane chairperson Kgosientso Ramokgopa said the ANC had decided to visit communities every Friday ahead of local government elections.

"Every Friday, we target a specific area that requires attention for purposes of elections, and what makes this unique today is that we are joined by the national and provincial leadership," said Ramokgopa.

"We are hoping that people will receive us very well and we will make a case to convince them to vote for the ANC," he said.

Mokonyane urged people to vote, saying she was aware that there was fighting going on in Soshanguve about the nomination of ward councillors.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  politics  |  local elections 2016

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