NEWS & ANALYSIS

Payment of flight on Air Force plane an admission of guilt – AfriForum

Law states assets may only be used under exceptional circumstances other than for defence of SA

ANC’s payment of flight on Air Force plane is regarded by AfriForum as an admission of guilt

15 September 2020

AfriForum regards the ANC’s announcement by Ace Magashule, secretary-general of the party, that the ANC will pay for the use of the Air Force plane that flew certain members of the party to Harare, as an admission of misappropriation of national assets by the ANC.

This follows after the civl rights organisation indicated last week that they would take legal steps if it came to light that state assets were used by the ANC unlawfully. AfriForum also wrote to Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nosivwe Mapisa-Ngakula, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans (who was part of the visit), and Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance requesting them to explain whether the Air Force plane had been used lawfully. The civil rights organisation also submitted a complaint to the Public Protector.

According to Monique Taute, Head of AfriForum’s Anti-Corruption Unit, Section 80(3) of the Defence Act 42 of 2002 determines that Defence Force assets may only be used under exceptional circumstances for other purposes than protection of the country. These circumstances must adhere to certain requirements. “First, the use thereof must be in the public’s interest. Second, the Minister of Defence must approve the use of the assets in consultation with the Minister of Finance.”

“The fact that the ANC will now pay for the use of the Air Force’s assets does not indemnify them from the contravention of the Defence Act. AfriForum wants to know how the Minister of Defence can in any way justify that this flight on an Air Force plane was in the public’s interest and we still expect answers as to whether the correct channels were followed. Magashule’s announcement that the ANC will pay for the flight speaks volumes,” concluded Taute.

Issued by Andrea van Wyk, Media Relations Officer, 15 September 2020