South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) said it will pay the government for the costs incurred when its delegation flew to Zimbabwe to meet with ZANU PF leaders last week on a SA airforce jet.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, who led the delegation to Harare, apologised for “hitchhiking” on the plane and pledged to reimburse the State for the costs incurred. He said:
We travelled in an unusual manner and profusely humble ourselves where we went wrong during the lockdown and will reimburse the government for the costs incurred on behalf of our delegation. Our delegation is under quarantine in line with our lockdown regulations.
This comes after opposition parties, the DA and the EFF criticised the party for using an airforce jet for the trip and called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to explain.
The South African President said that Mapisa-Nqakula had permission to travel to Zimbabwe to meet her counterpart to discuss defence-related matters.
Ramaphosa also wrote to Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Friday and demanded a response within 48 hours.
ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member Dakota Legoete who was part of the delegation, last week told News24 that the use of a SA air force jet was “not a mistake”. He said:
How can it be a mistake when between five to seven million people are about to face starvation? How can it be a mistake when about over 4 million people have crossed the border, they are in our shores?
How can it be a mistake when we are likely to face an outrage of xenophobic attacks on Zimbabweans because they are tussling for manual labour with South Africans?
For inaction, the ANC is going to be blamed. For action, the ANC will be equally blamed. People forget we are African, with African value systems