MPs to grill Mapisa-Nqakula for using military jet to fly ANC delegation to Zimbabwe, Newsline

Johannesburg – Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is facing pressure as MPs are preparing to grill her in the next two weeks over the use of an air force jet to fly senior ANC leaders to Zimbabwe.

Chairperson of the joint standing committee on defence Cyril Xaba confirmed that Mapisa-Nqakula will appear before them.

Political parties have also backed the decision for Mapisa-Nqakula to be hauled over the coals by the defence committee.

Xaba said it was in the interest of everyone involved in the matter to gather facts on what happened.

Mapisa-Nqakula had travelled to Harare, Zimbabwe, to meet her counterpart on SADC matters, but she gave ANC leaders a lift on their way to meet with Zanu-PF.

Xaba said they would meet Mapisa-Nqakula on October 16, but he denied that they summoned the minister to the meeting.

“We are meeting on October 16. The minister has requested to brief the committee on her business trip.

“She is invited to all committee meetings. It is said in the media that she is summoned. She is always in our meetings, she attends all our meetings,” said Xaba.

He said the meeting would gather facts on the trip to Zimbabwe.

But DA MP Kobus Marais said they had asked the committee to call Mapisa-Nqakula to answer on using state resources to fly ANC leaders to meet with Zanu-PF.

“The DA requested that the minister be summoned to appear before the committee after she wilfully oversaw the ANC’s abuse of an air force jet to visit Zimbabwe. The DA is of the view that Parliament should play its oversight role in this matter in order to ensure accountability and transparency,” said Marais.

IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said this was a step in the right direction, after Mapisa-Nqakula was given a slap on the wrist by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mapisa-Nqakula was reprimanded by the president and had her salary docked for three months.

Hlengwa said Parliament was the right platform to conduct its oversight role on what happened.

He said this was an opportunity for Mapisa-Nqakula to come clean after the report on her, by Ramaphosa, remains shrouded in secrecy.

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said the minister must account to Parliament for her actions.

He said Parliament was the correct platform and institution to hold her accountable for what she did.

“This is long overdue. We support this decision, but it should have been taken before Ramaphosa (reprimanded her), because Parliament could have had an input on the recommendations to the President on that decision,” said Bloem.

Political Bureau