Calls are mounting on President Cyril Ramaphosa to sack Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula for her role in allowing an African National Congress (ANC) delegation to catch what she called a ‘lift’ to Zimbabwe on a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) plane earlier this month.

Ramaphosa issued details of the minister’s sanction at the weekend.

He has suspended her salary for three months and instead allocated the money to the Solidarity Fund to support the country’s response to the pandemic.

The ANC will also have to reimburse the state for the costs of the flight.

Political parties and civil organisations have accused Ramaphosa of downplaying the blatant abuse of state resources.

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos says the President has given Mapisa-Nqakula a slap on the wrist despite being constitutionally empowered to fire her.

“The President is clearly empowered to appoint and to fire a minister. The President can reassign powers to a minister and take away powers from somebody. He sort of under-cut or he tried to evade the actual accountability mechanisms that are provided for in the constitution which would be a removal from office,” explains De Vos.

In the video below, Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos says Ramaphosa has the power to fire Mapisa-Nqakula:

Public Protector to investigate the use of state funds by ANC

The Public Protector’s Office says it will investigate the use of state funds and resources for party interests by the African National Congress (ANC) after its delegation travelled to Zimbabwe.

This is despite the ANC apologising and agreeing to pay back the costs incurred on the trip.

The Public Protector’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said, “The PP will be investigating on the basis of three complaints from AfriForum, Freedom Front Plus (FF-Plus) and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) – the last two complainants are from political parties represented in Parliament.”

“They want her to investigate different aspects of the matter. It does not matter whether any of the players in the matter have decided to make amends, it is important for the PP to establish what happened, who did what and whether what they did was in compliance with the law,” added Segalwe.

The ANC says it will pay back the costs incurred to fly the party’s delegation: