REPORT: Zuma misses party event as plane hits trouble

BY CHARL BOSCH - MAY 13, 2016

The Presidency has so far remained mum on reports that President Jacob Zuma and his delegation were left stranded in Uganda due to problems with the Presidential jet, Inkwazi.

According to reports, Zuma was due to take part in a door-to-door campaign in Shoshanguve near Pretoria on Friday, but reportedly only arrived back in South Africa during the early hours of this morning. It however remains unconfirmed how exactly he got back.

Addressing disappointed residents, African National Congress (ANC) election campaign head, and Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokayane, merely stated that the plane failed start when it tried to depart from Uganda where Zuma had been attending the inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni.

Earlier this week, the Department of Defence and Military Veterans announced it would continue with procurement plans for the acquiring of a new Presidential jet to replace Inkwazi, which has been plagued by numerous breakdown and mechanical problems resulting in both Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa being delayed on international travels.

Although unconfirmed, it is rumoured that the new plane would cost in the region of R4-billion with the move widely panned by opposition parties. Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has however emphasised that the new jet would not solely be used by Zuma, but also by those who succeed him when his tenure as President runs-out in 2019.