The EFF says it will be requesting that the South African National Defence Force invoice the ANC for using a government-sponsored jet to conduct party business.
The ANC has been accused of abusing state resources after a delegation used an SA Airforce jet to travel to Harare to meet with Zanu-PF over the unrest in Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday after appearing for his assault case, Malema said issues in Zimbabwe needed urgent attention and that ANC leadership had deemed it necessary to travel to the country and interact with its leadership for a solution.
He said, while his party supported any intervention that could help restore sanity in Zimbabwe, he believed the use of state resources by the ANC was “irresponsible”.
“And we shouldn’t be too dramatic about it. We will ask the secretary of defence to invoice the ANC, so the ANC pays and they don’t repeat that mistake.
“But going to Zimbabwe, even under lockdown regulations, it is necessary, it’s urgent, and therefore it will be reactionary for anyone to say the leaders should not have gone to Zimbabwe,” Malema said.
He added that members of parliament and political leaders had permits to travel anywhere and there was a need for Zimbabwe to be visited.
He said the ANC should have paid for a private jet if there were no commercial flights available.
“But since they flew a government plane, let them pay. Let them get an invoice, let them pay. But the mission to resolve the problem of Zimbabwe, should not stop all of us, including EFF, we should put pressure to find solution to the problem of Zimbabwe. It’s a pandemic on its own and therefore needs to be resolved,” Malema said.
He said the issue should not be “over-polticised”, but that a solution should be found for the country instead, adding the only solution in the matter was that the governing party paid for using the jet.
It was previously reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa had given Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula 48 hours to submit a detailed report for the trip.
Reacting to the president’s directive, Malema said he was “acting”.
“The man said to us he does not have the power to discipline ministers. So he wants a [report] to do what with it? He said he doesn’t have powers to discipline ministers when he was asked to discipline minister [Pravin] Gordhan. Unless there are rules for Gordhan and rules for others.”
The SANDF defended the use of the aircraft, saying Minister Mapisa-Nqakula had travelled to Zimbabwe for official work and gave her ANC colleagues a lift.
It was reported that defence spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said the party’s meeting coincided with Mapisa-Nqakula’s official work.