OUTA requests President to take stringent disciplinary action against defence minister

If the President wants citizens to take him seriously on matters related to the abuse of state resources, stern corrective action and meaningful accountability measures are required when it comes to errant ministers.

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14/09/2020 14:43:44

OUTA requests President to take stringent disciplinary action against defence minister

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) seeks answers from government on the ANC delegation’s use of state resources to attend a meeting in Zimbabwe last week, and also wants to know why the Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, allowed the flouting of regulations once again. 

"There is a clear line between party and state, with no room for excuses when it comes to political parties making use of state resources,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO. “South Africans have the right to know why ANC members were allowed to make use of a SAAF jet to meet with ZANU PF - or anyone else for that matter - in Zimbabwe.” 

Duvenage says OUTA wants Mapisa-Nqakula to explain whether the trip to Zimbabwe was an official state visit or merely an ANC trip disguised as a state visit. If it was a state visit, OUTA wants to know what the actual purpose or nature of this engagement was. If indeed the necessity for this meeting is being questioned, or if it was one that could have been conducted via electronic platforms (as the President and others recently have done during a SADC meeting), it would appear the minister is out of line when it comes to spending of state resources – even more so in light of the current shortage of state funds.  

Duvenage says this should not be a difficult matter to get answers on, and OUTA trusts that governing officials will not beat around the bush or obfuscate their responsibility on an issue that ought to be very clear. “The indecisiveness as to who was responsible to obtain the necessary approvals and clearance is precisely what happens when the lines between party and state are blurred, just as we witnessed with the Gupta wedding jet landing at Waterkloof air force base in 2013.” 

We believe the Minister of Defence had no right to set a precedent to allow political party members to “hitch a ride” on the SAAF jet.  This minister has a history of “giving lifts” on SAAF aircraft. In 2016 it was revealed that Minister Mapisa-Nqakula was allegedly involved in bringing her late son's girlfriend into South Africa on a SAAF aircraft in 2014. To this day - despite the suspension of the Minister’s sister, Nosithembele Mapisa, (who apparently helped arrange a fake passport for the young Burundian woman, Michelle Wedge), it is unclear if any action was taken against Minister Mapisa-Nqakula over her involvement in this matter. She has denied any wrongdoing.  

We urge President Ramaphosa’s to make the Defence Ministry’s report as well as the findings of the investigation into the trip by the Department of Home Affairs public. If indeed this government wants to prove that they mean business when it comes to good, ethical governance, OUTA would like to see the President take action at the highest level. We would go so far as to say that Minister Mapisa-Nqakula should be dismissed for her brazen and habitual conduct of showing little regard for the laws of this country and the use of taxpayers’ funds.  

Picture: Flickr/Bob Adams

OUTA is a proudly South African civil action organisation, that is purely crowd funded. Our work is supported by ordinary citizens who are passionate about holding government accountable and ensuring our taxes are used to the benefit of all South Africans.