Ramaphosa cancels Eastern Cape visit due to plane problems

2016-03-21 11:56
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Pretoria - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has cancelled his trip to Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, due to technical problems experienced by his plane, his office said on Monday.

“Deputy President Ramaphosa was scheduled to address the commemoration service of the 31st anniversary of the Uitenhage massacre in the Eastern Cape,” spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.

“The South African Air Force aircraft (SAAF) in which Deputy President Ramaphosa was scheduled to fly to the Eastern Cape developed technical difficulties, necessitating the cancellation of the visit to the Eastern Cape.”

Mamoepa said all stakeholders including organisers of the commemoration were informed of the decision to cancel the trip following the problems with the plane.

It is not the first time that a presidential plane has been grounded due to technical difficulties.

In February President Jacob Zuma was stuck in Burundi after the government-owned presidential jet experienced problems. This was not the first time either that Inkwazi had been grounded due to mechanical difficulties.

Last year, Zuma faced intense criticism following reports that R4bn would be spent on acquiring a new plane for him and his entourage. It was reported that the luxury jet would also have a conference room, bathroom and private bedroom, and would accommodate 30 passengers.

Mosiuoa Lekota, who was defence minister when the Inkwazi was bought, said the price included R300m for the jet, and R108m to fit and decorate the interior, according to News24's archive.

Read more on:    saaf  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  port elizabeth

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