Zuma now flying solo

2012-01-26 09:26

Pretoria - While it took three jets, 16 pilots and at least 18 cabin crew members to get President Jacob Zuma to New York and back two weeks ago, this week he flew to Qatar, Switzerland and Ethiopia on a single plane.

There was no sign of the two shadow planes that were apparently needed to ensure that Zuma arrived on time in New York.

According to conservative estimates, there were three pilots, one flight engineer and two cabin crew on Inkwazi - Zuma’s Boeing business jet - for the New York trip. A complete relief crew was sent on ahead to take over from the first crew.

The Airbus A340 that followed Inkwazi to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands had three pilots. Another three pilots and eight crew members were sent ahead to Las Palmas as relief crew. The Bombardier Global Express that followed Zuma and his party from New York, had four pilots and four crew cabin crew members.

Now it appears the presidential business jet will function as it has over the last few years: alone, with a crew on duty and a relief crew.

An investigation into the alleged extravagant planning of the New York trip is also believed to be under way, as it had apparently not been approved at defence force top level.

The air force said on Wednesday in a statement that the Airbus was only available for the first leg of the trip as a shadow plane to New York, while the Bombardier was only available on the return flight. The air force would always keep a plane on standby when Zuma left on a critical or important mission, read the statement.

  • Snoopsy - 2012-01-26 09:33

    Dis mos lekker as Jy self nie daarvoor hoef te betaal nie! The ANC is pathetic, wasteful spending is your second name! Less paying Tax, and we will see how many planes you'll then have!

      Hotkop - 2012-01-26 10:33

      We should start a tax payers union and as a hard working citizens, stop paying taxes.

      cyanideandhappiness - 2012-01-26 10:42

      Philemon what you just said is terribly racist. Stop being a hypocrite and maybe people will listen to you.

      Snoopsy - 2012-01-26 12:26

      Hotkop, we should start a union.. Then we as taxpayers can strike, and stop paying taxes as soon as the Government spends our hard earned money on B..lS..t.. wouldn't that be fun! As for Philemon, you have to be one of the UNEDUCATED? No where in my comment did I refer to race. So actually who is the racist?

      Robsschele - 2012-01-26 13:05

      @Philemon. Snoopsy did not mention race anywhere in his post. IF you cannot read afrikaans do not comment on it. And please do not call my language "kitchen language". Would you like it if I call your language degrading names.

  • Mike - 2012-01-26 09:34

    It looks like the uproar has helped...

      Alan - 2012-01-26 10:27

      Yeah - and it just goes to show what a lot of the 'usual hot air' the last excuses were for having 3 planes. I believe the trouble in this country is that (in general) the politicians really don't give a damn about the citizens of S.A. They waste much needed money, or loot the coffers for self enrichment to the detriment of the country. Yet much of our electorate is so blind, that they vote for more, putting colour before common sense. Perhaps it is the Govt's policy to make access to education difficult, as well as to keep the standard of education so low that what is provided is quite meaningless. (And then the Govt. still manipulate the results). Meanwhile, the Fatcats continue to waste and plunder.... hmmm... Time for our electorate to wake up and vote for a much needed change. Zim beckons.

      Vince - 2012-01-26 10:38

      Yeah VIVA DA VIVA! Thanks for bringing the wasteful spending to our attention. At this rate he might be using a train close to next election as I think ALL South Africans are now getting GATVOL of them wasting our hard earned money.

      Simon - 2012-01-26 14:55

      Mike, President Obama has one wife and she goes with him on Official State visits. It is the right of President Zuma to take all of his wives. If that takes 3 or even 4 jets I can't see the problem - we are just as rich as the USA!

      Burtfred - 2012-01-26 17:40

      Hey Simon "we are just as rich as the USA"????? Yea right. Keep taking the pink pills pal.

      Grant - 2012-01-27 06:54

      @Simple Simon, You're an ANC member, right. I can always tell, they always suck facts and figures out of their thumbs to suit an arguement. South Africa is not as rich as the USA in fact we sit at the 77th richest country in the world. We are even behind Botswana. Care to google it if you don't believe?

  • Bob - 2012-01-26 09:36

    It’s always the lowest performing less intelligent politicians of the world that place more emphasis on their imaginary importance and blatant arrogant extravagance.

      Deeteem - 2012-01-26 10:05

      Now here is an intelligent comment !!

      Guy - 2012-01-26 10:40

      To put it another way, the extravgance of a politician is inversely proportional to his importance

      Archie - 2012-01-26 11:17

      BULLS EYE!ANC politicians only see a bottomless pit of money which is in their way of thinking a birthright to blow on whatever. and stuff the taxpayer, the poor are only needed around the next elections.

  • dlawre30 - 2012-01-26 09:36

    LOL - should we belive them this time? With the New York fiasco they tried to lie about it and cover it up

      gbbfg - 2012-01-26 15:25

      Yeah, this is what gets me too. They completely changed their story, but there's no apology or anything forthcoming. Thieves & liars.

  • PaasHaas - 2012-01-26 09:37

    Looks like the bones were thrown and the ancestors decreed that it was safe to go with only 1 plane.

      Alan - 2012-01-26 10:28

      .. or SAAF has run out of fuel.....

  • Heini - 2012-01-26 09:39

    What I would give to see the REAL itinerary of those stops!!

      Vince - 2012-01-26 10:39

      Me too, do you think some of the planes were carrying rhino horns!!!

  • cameronrh1 - 2012-01-26 09:40

    The President of the US, have one plane which he uses, and its constantly maintained... why cant out Airforce and Government do the same? If our government had the mentality to repair and fix things when they need fixing and not leaving it till its borderline irrepairable this country would save a lot more money when it comes to building maintenance, road upkeep, airforce etc etc... While i agree appartheid was bad i do agree that during this era the upkeep of our infrastructure was always kept.

      StarStruck - 2012-01-26 10:12

      Unfortunately this is our future now and they are just keeping it real for all of us(black and white), if you know what I mean.

      miquette.caalsen - 2012-01-26 10:33

      Cameron, the US president has two planes, and (as Deon so helpfully and instructively pointed out to me the other day) both flies whenever he goes anywhere. The plan being that no one knows in which of the two identical planes the president is, as this helps in security matters. Just fyi :)

      Andrew - 2012-01-26 11:04

      As far as I can recall 2 Boeing 747-200 are fully equipped to function as the Presidential office of the USA, namely Airforce 1 and AF 2. These aircraft have state of the art communication functionality and can be re-fuelled in midair. Here is the crunch they were put into service in 1990 and are very well maintained and serviced to be ready at any time. Here in RSA we have a Presidential Boeing that is only about 3 years old and being touted as obsolete. Not Funny !!

      Nkateko - 2012-01-26 11:47

      "While i agree apartheid was bad i do agree that during this era the upkeep of our infrastructure was always kept" bad yes...upkeep of infrastructure-i guess you are referring to white suburbia areas not the dusty homelands(go to Bloem you will find free-ways in residential areas with an average of less than 10 cars in 30 minutes, do you call that justice, the funds it will take to maintain those street would be used for a greater good) ...check the statistics on infra development since 1994.

      Cindy - 2012-01-26 15:18

      and the Queen of England has none, she flies British Airways like the every-one else... so the point is? I don't understand why a country with a struggling, emerging-market type economy needs to be burdened with any presidential jets, its a ridiculous waste of money

  • Oscar - 2012-01-26 09:42

    Maybe the last trip was for pleasure and not an "important mission"? LOLO

  • Larry - 2012-01-26 09:45

    How would it have been if the Access to information bill had been in place.

  • Gerhard - 2012-01-26 09:46

    Thanks for saving us some money. We really appreciate it. Now can you address all the other wasteful expenditure?

      Gerhard - 2012-01-26 09:51

      Actually, Mr Pres, how about trading in that Boeing for a nice corporate jet at one third of the price? I mean, why do you really need all that space? Now there would be a cost saving.

  • Ofentse - 2012-01-26 09:50

    when i look at my payslip and the tax that am paying to found ANC lavish lifestyle makes me feel like jumping at on coming traffic

      Showerhead Zooma - 2012-01-26 09:55

      I feel you. I will never pay income tax as long as the plunder and corruption is left to run riot. I would rather cease my business activities and become a beggar. I cannot in good conscience pay 1 f***ing cent income tax. SARS can send me to prison.

      Archie - 2012-01-26 11:23

      Ofentse rather push them out next election and get some real service delivery,you do have the vote!use it wisely.

  • Herbert - 2012-01-26 09:52

    Only one plane because his many wives do not have any veils or long dresses that fit them so they were left at home!

  • Phumi - 2012-01-26 09:52

    Mbeki warned us about the use and abuse of 'knowladge' by those with means of production to spread 'false' truths to achieve narrow selfish agendas! The dept. of defence did explain that this is a standard aviation practice throughout the world and there is nothing ontowards that was done! I still long for the day that the print media is regulated!

      Showerhead Zooma - 2012-01-26 10:01

      Wow, how surprising... Another brainwashed ANC troll.

      cameronrh1 - 2012-01-26 10:07

      And then one day this print media that is regulated is going to tell you that the sky is actually pink and you gonna believe it? Sad to think that you would believe a thing that is published via a state run media outlet...

      Albert - 2012-01-26 10:13

      They can BS idiots like you but not us air force veterans.We ran a classy show ,not this bankrupt flying club you have now.

      Jacqui - 2012-01-26 10:20

      I fought for democracy in this country and your longing for regulation of the press is NOT what we had in mind. The department of defence talked a lot of nonsense. Every other head of state has one plane and they have far more clout then your president Zuma will ever have. So stop sharing your false truths with us. Grow up.

      StarStruck - 2012-01-26 10:21

      The army chief responsible for getting the planes ready actually spoke to Jacaranda 94.2 last week. He said - "The order came from the top and I do not question it". So where exactly is the distortion?? Only dictating selfish pigs with blood on their hands go about recklessly spending money that came from the people and is there for meant for the people.

      Hotkop - 2012-01-26 10:33

      And what the SAAF says is law?? Wake up!

      Archie - 2012-01-26 11:28

      Give Phumi some oxygen ,her brain has gone lame.Start your own business without state aid for ever then see how happy you are when the gov blows your tax money.Use your brain save pain!

      gbbfg - 2012-01-26 14:28

      Phumi... I just don't understand how you can't get it. Which part of all this is so difficult to understand? You clearly don't. Unbelievable. Clueless. We are on your side you know. You aren't.

      Cindy - 2012-01-26 15:21

      The Dept of Defence can try all they like to justify this expense, fact is, this is not common practise amongst govts......planes are chartered as needed or the govt heads use the services of the national carrier (in our case it would be SAA), they dont make their airforce their private airline!

      gbbfg - 2012-01-26 15:33

      Albert: Indeed. Classy and proud.

      mastersvoice - 2012-01-26 22:56

      Phumi - if it is such standard practice, why did they feel the need to lie about it to us in the first place? They denied the plane's existence, then said it only went half way, then admitted it went all the way, then it turns out there were TWO planes! If they lied about that, then they must be lying about the "standard aviation practice" too.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-01-26 09:53

    What a waste of my hard earnt money... We need to start a revelution and stop this nonsense from continuing we as the people are the only ones, like our silent proteste of the tolls we can take this too

      StarStruck - 2012-01-26 10:26

      I second this

  • STYLEbudd - 2012-01-26 09:55

    Watch out the next wife maybe "African American" or from the Canary Islands... watch this space

  • Herbert - 2012-01-26 09:56

    Maybe the ANC will sloooowly come to realise what happened to Gaddafi in the end : he used to travel in style with his own women and his own tent !!!

  • Perfume5 - 2012-01-26 09:58

    While it took three jets, 16 pilots and at least 18 cabin crew members to get President Jacob Zuma to New York and back two weeks ago, this week he flew to Qatar, Switzerland and Ethiopia on a single plane.......was there a plot against his life?????? One word "self-importance"

      Albert - 2012-01-26 10:15

      No, he is just sh-tscared of the americans

  • David - 2012-01-26 09:58

    News24 your headline is misleading." Zuma now flying solo". That would never happen. He is a polygamist..LOL

  • Sechaba - 2012-01-26 10:00

    why fly solo when he has about 4 wives??????

      Showerhead Zooma - 2012-01-26 10:09

      This trip was probably about finding another.

  • Celtis - 2012-01-26 10:02

    Christmas shopping done so only one plane required.

  • Robert - 2012-01-26 10:04

    About bloody time - no need for all the other extras, just a waste of tax payers money, especially as most of these trips is a waste of time

  • Piet - 2012-01-26 10:06

    I told them a parashute is cheaper.!!!!

      STYLEbudd - 2012-01-26 10:10

      The plan was to jump from one plane to the other should the one fail Piet!

  • Jacqui - 2012-01-26 10:09

    Its called the GRAVY PLANE!!!

  • larisha.toffar - 2012-01-26 10:13

    wow and just the other day he was in a meeting in Limpopo because of no food in hospitals!! and there P.E. was told to also cut hospital costs... wonder what he would say is he landed in one of those hospitals?

  • Jacqui - 2012-01-26 10:13

    This only happend because it became public about the planes. With that new law they are pushing, he will have a whole fleet of planes and we will never know. It will all fall under 'state security' ands thus branded information not suitable for the masses.

  • Lloyd - 2012-01-26 10:13

    not an ideal way of spending tax payers money.

  • Brad.Kopping - 2012-01-26 10:13

    Whats the difference nothing between Zuma and a snake? Nothing.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-26 10:31

      You can fit a couple of snakes on a plane but one Zuma needs three planes.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-26 10:31

      A snake generally has only one partner at a time.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-26 10:32

      A snake does not waste tax payers money.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-26 10:35

      One is cold blooded, unpredictable, untrainable and should be handled with caution, the other is a reptile.

  • Nkulekweni - 2012-01-26 10:15

    What! shock horror!... where will all the shopping go?

  • braamc - 2012-01-26 10:15

    You can't believe a word from these ANC thieves

  • Sagren - 2012-01-26 10:16

    This guy wanted to look really presidential for the Americans......look JZ the American president can do thios kind of thing becuase they have something called MONEY. We can cant do all this because goatskins are not a means of currency - we are a poor country in a poor continent filled with thieves who steal whatever they can from whomever they can.Be realistic bubba - Dont comepete with Obama man, this dude is out of you league.

  • Arthur - 2012-01-26 10:18

    Liked the suggestion that a rumour should be spread declaring that the testicles of poachers cure aids...with Zuma's skin as thick as it is, as thick as a rhino's perhaps, shouldn't we tell the poachers where he lives?

  • Vegi - 2012-01-26 10:20

    The media is obviously exeggerating, 16 pilots is colourful figure bandied about to spice up the story.

      Alan - 2012-01-26 10:33

      Eat your veggies so that you can concentrate.

  • Vegi - 2012-01-26 10:21

    In fact the media's motto is "the more lies, the more jucier the story."

  • Francois - 2012-01-26 10:27

    It would be very interesting to know how many of these 16 pilots were black pilots and if zuma adheres to his affirmative action policy .

      Alva - 2012-01-26 10:34

      Ha ha ha ha! So true!

  • Hotkop - 2012-01-26 10:30

    Is this FACT or ANC PROPAGANDA??

  • Vegi - 2012-01-26 10:30

    This forum is hostile to the government. Everyone who wants to play the game of government bashing comes to this forum to indulge his or her fantasies. This is not good for nation building that you pretend you want.

      Alan - 2012-01-26 10:34

      More like it that people here in general do care about the country, and abhor wastage by the Govt. If the Govt. does something commendable, I will be the first to praise it!

      Assis - 2012-01-26 10:44

      Maybe if government set an example in running the country in a prudent and wise manner...nation building will be further entrenched.

      Heinrich - 2012-01-26 10:49

      "This is not good for nation building that you pretend you want". Tell this to Mr. Zuma and that self serving, wasteful ANC, Vegi. How can a nation be built on these rotten foundations?

      Archie - 2012-01-26 11:38

      If the gov delivered on 50% of its promises we wouldnt be hostile to them but all we see is Limpopo type debacles daily and no real solutions to any thing.Indabas are cheap ,talk talk .no deadlines ever met!TO busy with their snouts in the trough.Invitation :prove me wrong.

      Burtfred - 2012-01-26 17:42

      Oh no! Vegi is back! The whole tone of the place just went down.

  • The-Azanian - 2012-01-26 10:31

    Whats next media24, the whole saa fleet with him?

      Hotkop - 2012-01-26 10:39

      Well that's possible. The ANC manage to do what ever they want without anyone stopping them.

  • wnkambule - 2012-01-26 10:35

    Cool! like in the movies

  • braamc - 2012-01-26 10:36

    Shouldn't he be walking?

  • Kogie - 2012-01-26 10:37

    racists comments wont solve problems. if we are so disgruntled about what we see and read about our politicians, we have a democratic right to view our greviences, but please ,dont make nasty remarks. only a handful of people who think like you, are going to enjoy what you said, the rest.... well read for yourself.

  • Assis - 2012-01-26 10:39

    Does Zuma take a shower before or after joining the solo Mile High Club ?

      Alan - 2012-01-26 11:48

      whaaahaaa!!! Maybe he Heads for the Shower soon after visiting the cockpit?

  • Derek - 2012-01-26 10:39

    Thank God he didnt go to the South pole...they would have send the whole $$@$#$@ airforce!!!

  • cyanideandhappiness - 2012-01-26 10:40

    One wonders if the extra jets that accompanied Zuma were for hitchhikers, particularly his friends and businessmen who also had meetings in New York. What better way to fly then with the presidents convoy. I still think its disgusting that they cannot fully explain the reason for the jets... And it obviously wasn't that important because he's flying alone again. Another waste as the country slowly goes bankrupt.

  • Chrono - 2012-01-26 10:47

    Flying solo must have been a horrific experience.

  • jerry.mamabolo - 2012-01-26 10:49

    By the way how much money did Basson hv? Just to kill people; innocent people for that matter. As a country I guess we hv passed that stage. If this Govt is not good, the votes shall tell and for as long as the votes say otherwise please shut up.

      Alan - 2012-01-26 11:52

      Methinks you have strayed somewhat from the point. Concentrate Boet!

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-26 10:52

    One plane is still too much. Zuma can be one passenger amoungst many on a regular flight. The question still remains. We will never know how much money or other treasures left the country.

  • Robin - 2012-01-26 10:53

    What an inflated ego this Zuma fella has. Does he really consider himself, and what he has to say, so important in a global context? Not in my book he doesn't.

      gbbfg - 2012-01-26 14:39

      All over the world, importance and respect are earned. For some reason though, there is a large number of people in South Africa who seem to think that a leader should be respected and believed under any circumstances. That is what will kill South Africa. It's very simple. It's the root of all this nonsense.

  • Lorenzo - 2012-01-26 10:56

    Exactly!! These "investigations" never lead anywhere anyway so what's the point.

      K0BUSL - 2012-01-26 15:22

      Easy way to "investigate" away another few million into a special fund for the Presidential needs. Probably contracted one or more of his kids as consultants....

  • Janice - 2012-01-26 10:57


  • Noelle - 2012-01-26 11:39

    Good now we can put this money towards schools, houses, hospitals and others things that our country needs! HOPEFULLY!!

      gbbfg - 2012-01-26 14:45

      Yes, but, it seems that's not what they want? They're happy to live in poverty as long as their "great leader" drives past once in a while in a big expensive car surrounded by a circus of police. Cos you know, it's so cool. And yet here we are fighting for their schools and houses and hospitals. Remind me... why are we doing this?