Is Ramaphosa's reprimand of Mapisa-Nqakula enough or just a slap on the wrist? SA weighs in

28 September 2020 - 13:15
By cebelihle bhengu AND Cebelihle Bhengu
Defence and military veterans minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Image: GCIS Defence and military veterans minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

Some politicians and South Africans are unhappy with president Cyril Ramaphosa's “formal reprimand” of defence and military veterans minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula,  who was accused of abusing state resources by allowing an ANC delegation to fly to Zimbabwe on an SA Air Force (SAAF) aircraft.

The delegation attended a meeting with Zimbabwe's Zanu-PF to discuss tensions in Zimbabwe.

Ramaphosa said Mapisa-Nqakula would not receive her salary for three months, starting from November 1. It will be diverted to the Covid-19 fund established to support the country's response to the pandemic.

The minister was also instructed to ensure that the party paid back all costs incurred by the flight to Harare.

“While the minister was on an official trip for which the president had given permission and for which she was entitled to use a SAAF aircraft, he found that it was an error of judgment to use the plane to convey a political party delegation,” said Ramaphosa.

The president found that Mapisa-Nqakula “failed to adhere to legal prescripts warranting care in the use of state resources and that she acted in a way inconsistent with her position as required by the code”.

The DA's shadow minister of defence, Kobus Marais, said the reprimand was a slap on the wrist.

“The DA demands that President Cyril Ramaphosa fires the minister by the end of this week. The president's decision to merely reprimand the minister for wilfully overseeing the ANC's abuse of an air force jet is simply not good enough,” he said.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa echoed the DA's sentiments. He told the SABC the minister should have been fired.

“You will recall that this is the same minister who gave a lift to her son's girlfriend from Congo, the Guptas' Waterkloof air force landing happened under her watch. The killing of Collins Khosa of Alexandra and her conflicting statements is there for everybody to see,” he said.

Here's a glimpse into what others had to say on Twitter: