DA wants answers over Zuma’s hired jet


Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister for Defence and Militarily Veterans, David Maynier, has said that the department owes the public an explanation following the hiring of an additional airplane to transport President Jaocb Zuma from Russia.

His comments after it was revealed that a third plane had been tasked to fly Zuma back from Moscow, where he had been attending a commemorative event to mark 70 years since the end of World War II.

According to reports, a suspected minor problem with the long range fuel system of the Presidential Boeing Business Jet, known as Inkwazi, had resulted in the Air Force hiring a similar a plane from Bahamian airline, Longtail Aviation, but that Zuma was not present at Moscow’s Vnukova VIP airport when the plane arrived from Dubai to pick him up.

Due to regulations not allowing planes from the Bahamas to enter Russian airspace, which was reportedly not known to the Air Force, a third plane was then arranged while the former was sent back to Dubai.

The latter, a Bombadier Challenger 605 operated by Malta based carrier, Hyperion Aviation, reportedly landed at the Waterkloof Air Force Base late Tuesday afternoon, hours after Inkwazi had arrived despite it having to make additional fuel stops in Turkish capital Ankara, and Entebbe in Uganda.

“There was reportedly absolutely no reason, other than an additional fuel stop, why the President could not have returned on Inkwazi and millions of Rands could have been saved,” Maynier said in a statement.

The Witness has meanwhile reported that above the R2-million spent on the empty flight, two members from the Presidency and Government Communications were placed on a commercial flight at a cost R30 000 per person, having been unable to board the Challenger with Zuma, his fifth wife Tobeka and Head of Operations Lakela Kaunda, due to a lack of space.


IMAGE sourced from www.airliners.net