Fuming Ramaphosa raps defence minister over 'dodgy' jets

18 March 2018 - 00:58 By QAANITAH HUNTER
President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had to explain why President Cyril Ramaphosa flew on a private jet owned by a 'dodgy' individual.

The Sunday Times can reveal that Ramaphosa expressed his unhappiness to the minister about having  to fly to Botswana in a private jet owned by controversial businessman Zunaid Moti. 

According to insiders, Ramaphosa sought  assurance from Mapisa-Nqakula that any planes chartered for him by the South African National Defence Force would be vetted to prevent “further embarrassment”. 

Ramaphosa’s spokeswoman, Khusela Diko, confirmed that Ramaphosa raised the matter and wanted an overhaul of the relevant systems. “The president has expressed his displeasure with the privately owned air- craft leased in execution of duties as head of state,” she said. 

Diko also confirmed that Ramaphosa had expressed concern at the cost of leasing private aircraft by the defence force. 

“Also, the president said that when he travels for official duty there must be the flying of the South African flag, and that can only be done on SANDF planes,” she said. 

This was not the first time Ramaphosa had  been embarrassed by being given a chartered plane belonging to a controversial figure. In 2015, he travelled to Japan on a jet owned by the Guptas. Ramaphosa was deputy president at the time. 

Read the full story in the Sunday Times