Sisulu to co-operate with R2bn jet probe

2012-07-04 09:12

Johannesburg - Former defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu would co-operate with the auditor general and the public protector on a probe into the tender process to buy a new presidential jet, her office said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said: "No information would be provided to the DA and there is no basis in law for the ministry to do so".

He was responding to the Democratic Alliance's challenge to Sisulu that she produce proof that the tender process was sound.

Earlier DA MP David Maynier said: "Sisulu should produce documentary evidence that the minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, approved the deviation from normal competitive bidding processes."

Mabaya responded: "It is our suspicion that the DA is demanding this information in order to parade it in the media but not for oversight and monitoring of the work of the department."

Ministers not in charge of buying

He said the party was ignorant of the government's procurement processes, as ministers were not responsible for buying but were mandated to create "an enabling environment".

This included submitting the project to Cabinet and consulting with the finance minister.

Rather, accounting officers, director generals and chief financial officers were responsible for rolling out procurement processes.

Mabaya appealed to the DA to let the public protector and auditor general's investigations unfold.

On Monday, Sisulu said she was "absolutely convinced" the department had followed correct procurement processes regarding the R2bn Boeing 777-200 Long Range business jet.

DA hits back

She said the defence department had taken advice from treasury as well as the accountant-general on the potential purchase, which had been making headlines since the weekend.

On Monday Mabaya said she had called for the deal to be suspended to allow her successor at defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to redefine the department's priorities.

Maynier also took issue with this step, calling it an attempt to distance herself from the matter.

"This sounds too much like a useful pretext to extricate herself from a dubious deal to purchase a new jet for President (Jacob) Zuma," he said.

Die Burger newspaper reported that Sisulu had planned to use a R3.5bn refund the government had secured on the cancelled purchase of eight A400M Airbus military transport planes to buy the new jet.

‘Money better spent’

According to the daily, Sisulu wrote to Gordhan last month, asking to be exempted from the normal tender rules because buying a new plane for the president was a "matter of national security".

Maynier said if Sisulu produced documents to prove that Gordhan approved the deviation from the normal bidding process, he would withdraw his request that the public protector investigate the matter.

Both the DA and the Inkatha Freedom Party said it was unconscionable that the government would spend that much on a presidential jet when so many South Africans lived in poverty.

"This money could be better spent in trying to alleviate the many burning issues our country faces, such as our socio-economic challenges," the IFP's defence spokesperson Albert Mncwango said.

  • smili.fication - 2012-07-04 09:18

    "It is our suspicion that the DA is demanding this information in order to parade it in the media but not for oversight and monitoring of the work of the department." Damn Straight ! If it's illegal then it must be brought to the public attention.

      Revelgen - 2012-07-04 09:48

      Yep, Mabaya obviously doesn't realise that an Opposition's job is to keep the government honest. Which in SA is a VERY BIG JOB, it must be said.....

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-04 12:14

      Spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said: "No information would be provided to the DA and there is no basis in law for the ministry to do so". Well, so much for the transparency our august President was recommending just a few days ago .........

  • gary.williams.7186896 - 2012-07-04 09:26

    Oh dear - Lindiwe Sisulu's family and friends are going to be fuming... No mansions or fancy big cars from her cut... Oh well - they will just have to wait for the next tender then...

  • sizwe.bwana - 2012-07-04 09:27

    Wonder what the kickbacks are on a R2 billion jet???

      mihaip007 - 2012-07-04 10:18

      unless my zero's have confused me I am SURE a 1% is about R20mil.... WOW

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-04 16:36

      Obviously she never received her share so she is going to "co-operate"

  • john.turner.58760608 - 2012-07-04 09:28

    I find it amazing that "The Spear of the Nation" needs a aircraft that is designed to carry 400 people for his galivanting around the world, when David Cameron of the UK uses British Airways when he can and RyanAir for his holidays.

      nickey.vanrensburg - 2012-07-04 09:44

      Actually, it only carries 49 people in the standard business configuration.

      nickey.vanrensburg - 2012-07-04 09:47

      777 VIP: version of the 777 ordered by the Boeing Business Jet division. It is a modified version of the 777-200LR with a range of 10,100 nm. Two have been produced to date. Make that 3 !!!

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-04 12:40

      The "spear of the nation" needs this jet to carry the rest of the genetals running this country!

  • handy.andy.773 - 2012-07-04 09:35

    I simply cannot understand how, in a country with such extreme poverty as ours, that this expense could be justified. How many teachers can be paid, kids send to university or TEXT BOOKS can be bought with this money. The only place our president should be traveling to should be his office to do the work that he is paid for to do, by us the TAX PAYER. And yes, the DA should be asking these questions, because everytime the Defence Force buys something it is irregular and a whole lot of ANC cadres gets even richer. This is a shame, and I hope that they reserve special place in hell for these insanely corrupt officials who litteraly steals the bread from the mouths of the kids of Africa. I hope that plane crashes and you get what you deserve.

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-04 12:43

      hmm .....thats a bit harsh wishing the plane crashes. Then the next president will need another 2billion for his new jet and the tax payers will have an even bigger burden. Rather he just gets sucked into one of the turbines...........

  • David Vardy - 2012-07-04 09:38

    Sisulu spends R2bn of our money pimping her bosses ride and still gets demoted It's tough being an ANC cadre in an election year!

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-04 12:18

      Mile High Club hopeful?

  • jenipher.lavender - 2012-07-04 09:40

    I wonder when Government pushes through the Secrecy Bill, whether exposés like this will exist? Whether the media will be permitted to bring catostrophic purchases like this to the public's attention? Makes me wonder...will it be classified not for the public domain? Very concerning.

      bob.small.7547 - 2012-07-04 10:03

      You’re right on the money Jenipher. As stated in the article - "because buying a new plane for the president was a "matter of national security"." - As the article says, it is considered a matter of national security, and the Info Bill would have shut the whole matter up there and then!

  • Michael - 2012-07-04 09:46

    ANC is an absolute joke,cant even look after you own people.

  • clementine.mbewe - 2012-07-04 09:50

    I actually dont care if all tender protocols were observed.....I wanna know how they and who decided that SA president getting a PVT Jet is more important than meeting the basic needs of the masses #JustCurious

      handy.andy.773 - 2012-07-04 09:57

      well said. I would also like to know why so much traveling is required.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-04 12:25

      Seems they might be 'canning' the jet so now JZ has to resort to taking refuge in the closest toilet .... apparently

  • Linda - 2012-07-04 09:51

    Susulu is convinced she followed correct procedures. YEAH - she ensured that the most important politicians received the largest portion of the kickback..... Or not! Because otherwise why was she demoted? Was she stupid enough to try and keep the lions share of the kickback for herself? Just wondering..........

  • jwdupreez - 2012-07-04 09:52

    Sure she will help to cover up the ANC corrupt practices

      glyn.morgan.96 - 2012-07-04 10:43

      Any comment from Boeing? Who gets what?

  • bob.small.7547 - 2012-07-04 09:59

    Just look at the level of intelligence of the president and those around him and you will see why they do not blink an eye to spend 2billion on a jet while the rest of the country bleeds…!. It is all about a false sense of worth and living in a delusional desire for grandeur on a mammoth scale. Frankly, I am amazed that the populace of this country just sit back and allow this cr*p to continue unabated…..!

  • aijaman.pirlo - 2012-07-04 10:02

    Wish I can date Sisulu..She is beautiful!!!!

      Thanduxolo Galada - 2012-07-04 10:13

      Aijaman: what is it about this woman gosh, she's undoubtedly one of the hottest ministers ever! Trust me, we're not the first to observe this beauty..

      adriaan.dutoit.3 - 2012-07-04 10:27

      Yeah - the competition has been fierce. That Hendrik Verwoerd was a serious hottie.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-04 12:28

      I always had a thing for PW - now, there was a mover.... not

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-07-04 13:18

      Not as if she has much competition...

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-04 16:49

      Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, A good Optician should be able to help, although it sounds as though yours may be beyond help. Athougth all the good ones have already left anyway.

  • Simon Patrick Ric-Hansen - 2012-07-04 10:02

    If they parade it in the media and it's all above board what is the problem? If there are problems they should be looked at and if the ANC does not want the negative media coverage then they need to do something in the first place. If the ANC is covering things up just to protect the image then we have major issues. That goes way further than just protecting friends!

  • duncan.loxton - 2012-07-04 10:02

    Of course its a matter of national security,he can't fly around the world looking for investors in a spear

  • andrew.mckenzie.566 - 2012-07-04 10:04

    There are few world leaders that have dedicated aircraft at their disposal. His Excellency Prsident Jacob Zuma (as titled by the Black Management Forum) or the Dep President do not need to be among them. SA cannot afford this. It has to be stopped.

  • deon.vantonder.77 - 2012-07-04 10:06

    Now why would it be national security when a plane is bought for this showerhead gigalo of a president. What is so secret about a plane or is the way it is bought secret

  • Gavin - 2012-07-04 10:12

    how can this useless government of ours in good conscience sign off on a deal to buy his royal highness the king of fools a plane for R2 billion ?????? the ANC seem to think that the war on poverty will be won if they spend money on $hit like this. I think zuma was abducted by aliens, but then they brought him back, they forgot to take the anal probe out...

      glyn.morgan.96 - 2012-07-04 10:47

      Viva DA! Well done Dave Maynier! Vote DA!

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-04 12:37

      I think they brought him back for other reasons.......

  • Gavin - 2012-07-04 10:16

    if the price tag of this monster is in proportion to how important zuma thinks he is to SA - he must have a really high opinion of himself and his party (or circus).

  • dhavandran.palavar - 2012-07-04 10:18

    who's in the centre ? pravin dordhan as usual. a@#$%hole and he is responsible for the corruption in govt.

  • neilmurray13 - 2012-07-04 10:19

    The airforce can't even afford to fly the jets it has currently. In a talk I had recently from the airforce, the 26 Gripens that bought at great expense a few year ago will only be flown for maintenance flights. How much training & practice could our front line pilots get from R2 Billion rand?

  • BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-07-04 10:25

    Why is it a matter of National Security? BS. Security against the threat of what? We're not at war. No one is trying to kill Zuma. How would this piece of tin be any more secure compared to any current aircraft we already own? Absolute lies. It's just another toy to display wealth and power, and this country doesn't have either of those luxuries any more.

  • BulletProof. - 2012-07-04 10:26

    To hell with this government, build the houses you promise to the people.

      scebberish.umfazi - 2012-07-04 12:34

      mnathiso, then live with your tin shack, you wooden head.

  • sarah.bouttell - 2012-07-04 10:33

    Do I need to point out, that wherever Mz Sisulu seems to be posted, chaos, lies and dodgy deals seem to be the next step in the pattern. Check out her new posting and wait 18 months. The *lady* seems be chaos with a capital C.

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