Ricochet News

Reported Presidential jet breakdown slammed

By Charl Bosch - May 16, 2016
Reported Presidential jet breakdown slammed

The Presidency has denied reports on Friday that President Jacob Zuma and his delegation were left standard in the Ugandan capital Kampala due to alleged technical problems with the Presidential jet.

According to reports, Zuma had been expected to attend a door-to-door campaign in Shoshanguve near Pretoria on Friday, but reportedly only arrived back in South Africa during the early hours of the morning after the Presidential Boeing 737 Business Jet, also known as Inkwazi, refused to start as he was heading back from attending the inauguration of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

“The Presidency wishes to confirm that the plane did not experience any technical problems or malfunction of any nature during the visit to Uganda,” spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said in a statement on Friday evening.

“Earlier today [Water and Sanitation] Minister Nomvula Mokonyane indicated that the plane malfunctioned given information at her disposal at the time. The Presidency subsequently updated the Minister”.

Tabling the Department of Defence and Military Veterans’ budget in Parliament last week, Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula stated that it would continue with procurement plans for the controversial purchase of a new Presidential jet, worth a reported R4-billion, despite the move being widely criticised by opposition parties.

While remaining mum on the actual cost of the plane, Mapisa-Nqakula rebuked allegations it was simply being bought for Zuma, saying those succeed him when his tenure runs-out in 2019, would also make use of the plane.