Home News SANDF insists Ramaphosa’s flight to DRC cost R1,6 million not the R2,6...

SANDF insists Ramaphosa’s flight to DRC cost R1,6 million not the R2,6 million reported

Pretoria - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has rubbished weekend newspaper reports which stated that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo cost the taxpayer around R2, 6 million.

President Cyril Ramaphosa arriving in Kinshasa, DRC, on the South African Airways A340 passenger jet. Photo: Screengrab Twitter CyrilRamaphosa

SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said the Sunday Times report on Ramaphosa’s chartered flight to Kinshasa for a SADC summit was “misleading”.

Dlamini said because the presidential plane Inkwazi and other executive aircraft are currently out of commission, and Kinshasa offers limited regular commercial flights, the South African Air Force sourced quotes from potential service providers to transport the Ramaphosa and his delegation.

“The national carrier, South African Airways, was one of several bidders from whom the Air Force sourced quotes. SAA filed the lowest quote at under R1, 6 million (which is) R1 million less than the R2, 6 million “estimate” the Sunday Times tried to pass off as fact,” said Dlamini.

He said two quotes for significantly smaller aircraft came close to R1. 9 million each for the Kinshasa trip.

“In arriving at its estimate, the Sunday Times, regrettably, relied on hearsay from alleged sources in the aviation industry, which the Department of Defence believes the Sunday Times uses as a way to cover up the unethical sourcing of information from unauthorised Defence personnel.”

Dlamini said the Sunday Times “was also wrong on the number of passengers on the flights to and from” Kinshasa.

“The flight to Kinshasa carried 14 passengers, and the return flight 55. These numbers do not include SAAF crew members,” said Dlamini.

The Sunday Times reported that the huge SAA A340 passenger jet was booked for only 12 people, even though it has a capacity for 320 passengers.

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