Gupta ownership of plane irrelevant - defence minister

2015-08-28 12:15
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula briefs the media. (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula briefs the media. (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

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Pretoria – The fact that an aircraft chartered to transport the deputy president on an official trip to Japan was owned by the Guptas is irrelevant, the defence minister said on Friday.

“The matter of whether the aircraft belonged to a company owned by the Guptas is neither here nor there,” Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told reporters at Waterkloof Air Force Base.

“Execujet was under no obligation to disclose to us who owns the aircraft.”

She said the cost of chartering the plane would have been only slightly more than what the air force would have paid to use its own aircraft.

No SA Airforce plane was available to carry Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to Japan, Mapisa-Nqakula said earlier.

“With none of the SAAF aircrafts available or suitable, the next option is to charter an aircraft,” she said.

The chartering could be done only via a National Treasury charter contract or an open tender process.

Read more on:    cyril ramaphosa  |  pretoria  |  gupta jet

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