DA submits application for presidential jet records

2016-06-13 15:24
Parliament (Dan Calderwood, News24)

Parliament (Dan Calderwood, News24)

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Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance has submitted a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application for the presidential jet's maintenance records.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Monday said, since the defence department was set on buying a new presidential jet, the decision needed to be scrutinised.

"[We need] to assess whether there truly is a need for a new jet, or whether this is simply a vanity project for Jacob Zuma at the expense of the country and the taxpayer," Maimane said on Monday.

In May, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said there was no way to avoid buying a new VVIP jet for the Presidency.

"Buying the VVIP aircraft, we will. But not for [President Jacob] Zuma. There will be a president after Zuma. The VVIP aircraft is not being procured because there is President Zuma who will use it," she said.

Maimane said the DA believed the presidential jet, Inkwazi, was relatively new and Zuma did not need a new jet.

Leasing an aircraft

They have applied for information on the full maintenance records, including all technical faults and problems experienced by the jet.

"As president, he ought to put the country's needs ahead of his wants. The matter is simple: While 8.9 million South Africans cannot find work, we cannot afford the purchase of a brand new luxurious jet for President Zuma's travel," said Maimane.

Mapisa-Nqakula told journalists in May that government had to charter planes whenever there was a problem with the existing jet.

At present, government was preparing to lease an aircraft, while waiting to buy the new one.

"One thing we are not going to do is to compromise the security, safety of our principals," she said.

She said, several times this year, Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had been left stranded or been late for events due to the presidential Boeing 737 breaking down.

Read more on:    da  |  cape town  |  parliament 2016

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