Opposition parties slam Ramaphosa’s action against Mapisa-Nqakula as insufficient

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the action taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa against Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is a “slap on the wrist”.

Mapisa-Nqakula unlawfully conveyed an African National Congress (ANC) delegation to Zimbabwe on an SANDF plane earlier this month.

Ramaphosa on Saturday ordered that Mapisa-Nqakula be not paid her salary for three months, starting in November, and ensure that the state funds used for the trip are paid by the ANC.

Her salary will also be paid to the Solidarity Fund established to support the country’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

DA shadow minister of Defence Kobus Marais says this is a sign that Ramaphosa is weak, with no authority over his cabinet.

Marais says, “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 to legal transcripts warranting care in the 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.”

Mixed reaction to ANC’s Zimbabwe trip reimbursement:

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) says Ramaphosa must make public the two reports he received from Mapisa-Nqakula.

The IFP says it can’t only be Mapisa-Nqakula who faces the consequences, but there’s a trail of individuals who work in Defence who must also account.

IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa says, “The President seems to have jumped quite a number of steps into arriving at sanctioning which of course must happen. 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.”

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa has also rejected the reprimand of Mapisa-Nqakula saying she should have been fired a long time ago.

Holomisa says, “You will recall that it is the same minister who had a lift to her son’s girlfriend or girl’s boyfriend from Congo, the Guptas Waterkloof Airforce landing happened under her watch, the killing of Collins Khosa of Alexander and her conflicting statements is there for everybody to see.”

Ramaphosa reprimands Mapisa-Nqakula over the ANC-Zimbabwe trip

The Congress of the People (COPE) says that the President does not take state security seriously. They add that it is a very serious offence to transport civilians on a military plane.

COPE’s Dennis Bloem: “We are saying that if it was in another country where state security has been taken seriously then the President could have fired the Minister of Defence immediately. But we know that President Cyril Ramaphosa does not have any powers. He is not in charge of his government. It’s Luthuli House who is in charge who is taking decisions. So he is in a very difficult situation. He must look to the left to the right. This decision that he has taken you can see it’s not taken wholeheartedly. He was just trying to please the people to issue out a statement. This is a very serious offence to transport civilians in a military plane, it’s a gross offence.”

 Dennis Bloem speaks to SABC News