Ramaphosa, Mashatile use air force as ‘taxi service’ – DA

Henry

The ANC is accused of using the South African Air Force as the party’s personal taxi service.

Although pres. Cyril Ramaphosa and adj. pres. Paul Mashatile is allowed to travel domestically on Air Force planes, allegations have now come to light that these planes are also used for ANC operations.

Opposition parties are furious after it was revealed that a Falcon 50 jet was used last weekend to transport Ramaphosa and Mashatile to an ANC rally.

Kobus Marais, DA MP and spokesman for defense and military veterans, released flight documents on Monday which show that the president, his deputy and their guests took a whole series of flights in the run-up to this event.

On 5 January, Ramaphosa and Mashatile took a flight from Cape Town to the Kruger International Airport in Mbombela, with nine more flights scheduled between Mbombela and the Waterkloof air force base in Pretoria.

Marais says the string of flights could not be connected in any way to Ramaphosa and Mashatile’s official obligations as president and deputy president of the country. He believes this is a clear violation of the provisions in the Presidential Handbook.

“The handbook makes no provision for the use of air force aircraft for the transport of members of the executive cabinet and the political functions of parties,” said Marais.

“Ramaphosa and Mashatile’s actions are not only irresponsible and inappropriate, but an unbridled abuse of state resources.”

Marais says that this abuse is despite the troubled state of the South African National Army, especially the air force, whose budgets are increasingly being cut and the combat readiness of the army is harmed.

In addition, the air force’s nuclear equipment is badly dilapidated or out of order, with clear evidence that there is no money for maintenance and upkeep. More than 85% of the air force’s aircraft are not airworthy or in working order.

The money that is used so that Ramaphosa, Mashatile and their entourage can travel around on 21 Eskader’s VIP jets is also financed from this already depleted budget.

Marais says this is money that is supposed to be used so that South Africa can protect its sovereignty.

“The ANC and its cadres are not only looting the rest of the state treasury, but are apparently doing everything in their power to force the army, and in particular the air force, to its knees.”