15 November 2012

South Africa: Written Reply On Sisulu's Flights Withdrawn

Photo: GCIS
Lindiwe Sisulu, above, who is now Public Administration Minister, says parliament has been mislead by her predecessor Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula over the use of executive jet flights she had taken during her tenure.

Pretoria — The written reply tabled to Parliament regarding the number of trips the former Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, undertook with the SANDF's Gulfstream jets has been withdrawn.

"Following a complaint to Parliament by Minister Sisulu regarding the written reply tabled by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Acting Minister of Defence and Military Veterans [Bathabile Dlamini] has confirmed the withdrawal of the reply provided to Parliament," said the Ministry for Public Service and Administration in a statement.

Sisulu is currently the Minister of Public Service and Administration.

"Minister Dlamini, the Acting Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, has written to Parliament to withdraw the reply and conveyed an apology to Minister Sisulu for the inconvenience caused in respect of the reply."

The ministry said the written reply, which was a response to Question 2284, was "factually incorrect and misleading".

Sisulu has maintained that she did not fly 203 trips with an Air Force rented Gulfstream plane, but 35 trips.

This information was confirmed by her office and the official records of the South African Air Force of all her trips with the aforementioned Gulfstream aircraft.

"I am relieved that this matter has been resolved, that the reply to question 2284 has been withdrawn and that an apology has been submitted.

"I have been particularly sensitive of how we use the aircraft of the South African Air Force. For my ANC [related] and other responsibilities, I made use of commercial airlines," said Sisulu.

She said during her tenure, the Department of Defence received its first unqualified audit report in the history of the South African National Defence Force.

"We left the SANDF in a better state of health than it has ever been before. I am very proud of our achievements."

Sisulu reiterated that all her trips as Minister of Defence and Military Veterans were in line with necessary SANDF regulations. All care was taken to ensure that resources were used effectively and in terms of good financial governance.

She called on Members of Parliament to refrain from "spreading lies based on incorrect information that has been withdrawn".

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