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Defence minister dodges plane ticket question

2014-08-28 10:02

Johannesburg - The minister of defence refused to answer a question in Parliament over a claim that R100 000 was spent on a first-class air ticket for the head of the SA National Defence Force, Beeld reported on Thursday.

Replying to questions in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said she considered it a follow-up to a previous question on oversight, and would not answer it.

The Democratic Alliance had referred to a trip General Solomon Shoke took to Malaysia with Emirates, and had asked what Mapisa-Nqakula was doing to keep costs down and to stay in line with a National Treasury directive forbidding first-class flights.

DA MP David Maynier submitted that Shoke's flight showed the department was its own enemy and wasted millions of rand, even though it was in trouble.

When Mapisa-Nqakula refused to answer, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen objected and said it was not up to her to decide whether she was going to answer a question or not.

Mapisa-Nqakula eventually said: "Yes there are cost saving measures."

The DA said on Monday it would ask the auditor general to investigate the flight issue.

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