No proof of chopper being misused - Maharaj


The South African National Defence Force (SANDF), as well The Presidency, has slammed allegations that a back-up military helicopter had been used by friends and family of President Jacob Zuma, for travels between Durban and the President’s Nkandla homestead.

“The Presidency rejects the baseless and mischievous allegations made in CityPress newspaper that family members of President Jacob Zuma make use of a military helicopter for personal travel between Durban and Nkandla,” Zuma’s spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, was quoted as saying.

In an article, the paper claims that use of the back-up Oryx helicopter had been suspended since January due a lack funds with Special Investigation Unit “insiders” reportedly investigating claims that is was misused by the president’s friends and family.

Intended to carry Zuma’s bodyguards, the chopper, which the presidency hires from the SANDF at R63 000 an hour instead of the usual R70 000, had on numerous occasions been used by relatives leaving the guards to drive some three hours before catching up with Zuma.

Maharaj stated that the choppers were booked through the Presidency and had never been used by members of Zuma’s family or friends.

He also added that there was no proof to the article yet “the newspaper continued to publish [it]”, before saying, “The presidency is alarmed by the blatant reporting of such an untruth, the purpose of which could only be to contribute to the stereotyping of the president and his family.”

Similarly, SANDF Spokesman, Siphiwe Dlamini, told News24 that the chopper has never been used to transport Zuma’s family members and “at no point was such [a matter] ever raised by any of the crew members of the Air Force with the Command of the Air Force”.


IMAGES sourced from