Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says the National Defence Force is revising its policy on leasing aircraft for the President and Deputy President.
She says this has been prompted by the recent incident where President Cyril Ramaphosa flew to three SADC countries in an aircraft owned by businessman Zunaid Moti, who is allegedly close to Zimbabwe’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
According to reports, Interpol lists Zunaid Moti as an international fugitive and has issued a red alert for his arrest.
Moti, his father and their business partners failed in their attempt recently to force the President to prevent their extradition to Lebanon.
Answering questions in the National Assembly, the Minister said in the past the Defence Force did not know who owned the aircraft they leased.
She says in view of the latest incident internal processes and procedure have already been revised and updated to scrutinise all aircraft owners, operators, air crews and licenses.
She says in the past they never asked for the owners of the aircraft.
On Wednesday Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Phillip Mhlongo asked the Minister why this particular aircraft was chosen.
“Did the Department procure the services of this jet and if yes, was this particular jet selected? It is worrying because you have Inkwazi. You continue allowing this kind of procurement even of jets belonging to high risk criminals.”
The Minister started by explaining the problems with the President’s official aircraft, Inkwazi. She then went on to tell members that the Defence Force or at the Intelligence Services allowed the Head of state to travel in aircraft they had done no background checks on.
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