The Democratic Alliance (DA) has turned to the law in a bid to force President Cyril Ramaphosa to release the report into the African National Congress’ (ANC) South African Air Force (SAAF) jet saga.
In a statement on Monday, DA MP Kobus Marais said the party would submit an application to Ramaphosa over the matter in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).
“This follows reports that Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has given feedback to the ANC study group on the use of the air force jet for the party’s visit to Zimbabwe.
“It has become common in the ANC to play both the judge and the jury in an unashamed attempt to escape accountability,” Marais said.
Marais, who is also the DA’s shadow minister of defence, said the party had previously requested the president to release the report, but without any response.
“It is unacceptable that the minister reports back to the ANC about the ANC’s failures and South Africans are left in the dark.
“This report is already gathering dust on President Ramaphosa’s desk. It must be made public.
“We cannot allow a situation where a report, potentially detailing a flagrant abuse of scarce state resources is viewed and decided upon by President Ramaphosa alone, whose track record in holding his ANC comrades accountable for corruption is depressing,” he said.
The MP further argued that those within the ANC couldn’t investigate itself and called on those involved to be held accountable.
“The ANC cannot legitimately investigate itself, the president must hand over this report so that checks and balances that are available in our democratic system can properly scrutinise it and hold those found guilty accountable,” he added.
Meanwhile, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule came out to say that the party would reimburse the government for the flight that took place.
Six ANC delegates went to Zimbabwe for meetings with the ruling Zanu-PF party over a crisis in the country although Zanu-PF has denied that there was a crisis.
The matter had caused outrage among political parties and civil society organisations when it came to light that the ANC leaders used the South African National Defense Force’s (SANDF) Falcon 900. plane – which was used to ferry Mapisa-Nqakula – on their visit to Zanu-PF.
It was also not clear whether the ANC delegates had permission to fly to Zimbabwe, as required by the Covid-19 regulations.
(Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa)