Leadership expert, Mazwe Majola, says he agrees with opposition parties who says that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s sanctioning of Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was not enough.
President Ramaphosa reprimanded Mapisa-Nqakula for giving a so called “lift” in a military jet to a senior African National Congress (ANC) delegation who travelled with her to Zimbabwe.
Mapisa-Nqakula will lose three months’ salary to the Solidarity Fund established to fight the spread of COVID-19 and has to make sure the ANC reimburses the state for the trip.
Majola says the minister, as political head of the department, has gotten off lightly.
Mixed reaction to ANC’s Zimbabwe trip reimbursement:
The President says there was an “error of judgment” on the side of the minister, when she gave a lift to top African National Congress (ANC) leaders to Zimbabwe earlier this month.
However, many say the President could have done more to show his authority.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow minister of Defence, Kobus Marais, says this is not good enough.
“The president has downplayed this abuse of state resources, by stating it was an error of judgment, he himself admitted the minister did not act in the manner that talks to good governance – that she failed to act according legal transcripts warranting care in use of state resources – and that she acted in a way that is inconsistent with her position. These are damning findings against the minster and yet she gets this slap on the wrist.”
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP ) says more people within the Defence department must face the music. Party Spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, says Mapisa-Nqakula couldn’t have taken the decision alone and thus more heads must roll.
“The president seems to have jumped quite a number of steps into arriving at sanctioning her which of course must happen. By the absence of transparency in the process, actually has no credibility to what the president has done because the minister was not the only one who violated the constitution which has been a deliberate part in the ANC to ignore the separation of party and state.”
Congress of the People (COPE ) Spokesperson, Dennis Bloem, says the Minister’s salary must go to an NGO as it stands to be stolen if it goes to the Solidarity Fund.
“We disagree that this money must go to the solidarity fund because we know that people are going to steal this money. It’s where corruption is taking place. So this three months’ salary of the minister must go to an NGO or a place where destitute people are housed.”
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, General Bantu Holomisa says the minister of defence must be fired immediately.
“You will recall that it is the same minister who gave a lift to her son’s girlfriend from Congo, the Guptas Waterkloof airforce landing happened under her watch, the killing of Alex Khosa of Alexander and her conflicting statements is there for everybody to see.”