The Public Protector (PP) has found that the use of a SANDF aircraft in September 2020 to transport an ANC delegation to Harare, Zimbabwe, violated the law. The delegation included former Minister of Defense, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and six other ANC delegates.

The flight departed from Waterkloof Air Force Base on 8 September 2020 and returned the following day. Costs associated with the trip amounted to R231 973, plus a further R15 558 for refreshments on board the plane.

The complaint about the SANDF flight was brought by AfriForum in 2020. The PP found that Mapisa-Nqakula did not have the authorisation or permission to transport the ANC delegation in a SANDF aircraft, which was only approved to transport her and her staff to Harare and back. So, according to the PP, state resources were illegally used to improperly benefit a political party. The PP instructed that the president must issue a directive within 30 days of receiving the report, prescribing compliance with the ministerial handbook in relation to the use of state funds for air travel.

“It is absolutely despicable that the ANC used state funds illegally to benefit the party. This action shows the ANC’s contempt for the people of this country, as well as that the ANC considers itself above the law,” says Reiner Duvenage, Campaign Officer for Strategy and Content at AfriForum.