Sunday, March 16, 2014

Zuma ministers in bitter feud

No Fear No Favour No More Corruption please......

Pearlie Joubert, Jan-Jan Joubert and Thabo Mokone | 16 March, 2014 08:14

                                          LINDIWE SISULU - MOTHER OF THE ANC


Two of President Jacob Zuma's senior cabinet ministers - public service's Lindiwe Sisulu and her defence counterpart, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula - are embroiled in a nasty row that is threatening to spill into South Africa's courts.

Details of the feud are contained in a series of explosive letters and documents that show Sisulu racked up an R11-million bill for chartered flights on a Gulfstream jet while she was defence minister.
Sisulu has accused her colleague of lying about the number of these flights, taken between September 2009 and February 2012.
The Sunday Times has seen the flight schedules and can today for the first time reveal the staggering cost to the taxpayer for trips between Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria as well as several foreign destinations.
Mapisa-Nqakula, in a written response to parliament in October 2012, said Sisulu had taken 203 flights on the private jet. Sisulu has insisted she took only 35.
The ministers appear to be at odds over how to calculate those journeys.
Documents show that on one occasion, the jet took off from Lanseria airport, landed at Ysterplaat Air Force Base in Cape Town, headed to Durban, then on to Swartkop Air Force Base in Pretoria and returned to Lanseria. Sisulu maintains this is one trip; Mapisa-Nqakula's calculations put it at four. This flight cost taxpayers R241,154.
Three days later, the jet flew from Lanseria to OR Tambo International Airport and on to Cape Town before returning to Lanseria. This flight cost R162306.
Three days later, the jet travelled from Lanseria to Ysterplaat, then OR Tambo, before returning to Lanseria. This flight cost R171042.
According to Mapisa-Nqakula's parliamentary submission, Sisulu undertook regular journeys on the jet, including seven overseas trips.
Between May 24 and May 27 2010, Sisulu travelled to Uganda, Turkey, Algiers and Sudan at a cost of just more than R1.1-million.
The following year, between August 9 and 12, Sisulu travelled to Burundi at a cost of R508488.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Times this week, Sisulu vowed to clear her name and confirmed that she was considering legal action against her cabinet colleague.
"I want that expunged from my records with the necessary apology and the necessary remedy. I will not have it. I've worked very hard for this government and my reputation is not going to be sacrificed on something silly like that," she said.
The two ministers are among only four women in the top 15 of the ANC's election list. The timing of the public release of Sisulu's alleged extravagance along with the letters points to a behind-the-scenes battle for powerful cabinet positions after the May 7 national elections.
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has been drawn into the fray. The Sunday Times is in possession of nine letters about the issue sent between the offices of Sisulu, Mapisa-Nqakula and Motlanthe - as leader of government business - during November and December 2012. They provide rare insight into the tenor of interaction in the current cabinet.
On November 9 2012, Sisulu wrote to Mapisa-Nqakula: "The answer you gave was wrong and I am of the opinion that this was deliberate." She asked Mapisa-Nqakula to withdraw the answer.
On the same day, Sisulu wrote to Motlanthe to insist Mapisa-Nqakula's answer was "NOT TRUE" [sic].
On November 15, Sisulu wrote to Motlanthe: "That the minister [Mapisa-Nqakula] is wrong is clear as daylight and she should know that I have worked with the SANDF and its operations longer than she has had contact with them. I crafted the handbook on VVIP planes."
She stated her belief that there was "a malicious and deliberate attempt to cause damage to my integrity", part of "a deliberate pattern".
"Minister Mapisa-Nqakula is wrong, she knows she is wrong and the only reason she is doing this, I am convinced, is deliberate," concluded Sisulu.
On November 18, Sisulu wrote a long letter to Motlanthe, asking him to act and invoking the Sisulu family name: "I can live with the pain and embarrassment that comes with being a politician, but I will not sacrifice my integrity. My integrity is central to my being, central to how, as a family, we define essential values. This I must guard with my life."
In a separate paragraph, she stated: "I AM DEEPLY AGGRIEVED" [sic].
The ministerial handbook gives the South African National Defence Force the responsibility to transport the defence minister, and authorises chartered aircraft use only when there are time constraints or commercial airline use is not cost-effective, or for health reasons.
The fight between the two started two years ago when Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier asked a routine parliamentary oversight question about the number of chartered Gulfstream jet flights Sisulu undertook.
Mapisa-Nqakula answered with her version of events and stuck to it. At some point, while Mapisa-Nqakula was out of the country and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini was nominally acting as defence minister, Dlamini withdrew the parliamentary answer.
This week, Sisulu said she was "hopping mad" about the matter and would take any steps possible to get Mapisa-Nqakula to apologise to her.
Sisulu said Mapisa-Nqakula had allowed herself to be caught up in a campaign to smear her name following her initiative to tackle corruption in the public service.
She said she had reported Mapisa-Nqakula to the public protector and parliamentary ethics committee.
The public protector's office yesterday confirmed that it was investigating Sisulu's complaint against Mapisa-Nqakula.
She has taken legal advice and will, if necessary, use the courts to clear her name. "My integrity is everything I have ... I will not sacrifice it for everybody. I do everything with integrity and I am going to protect it with all I have.
"I mean, how do I go to anybody now and say please come and vote for the ANC? This is an organisation that has given so much and they look at me and they see a flight? No, no, no," she said.
"I want that expunged from my records with the necessary apology and the necessary remedy. "
Sisulu took another swipe at Mapisa-Nqakula, pointing out that she had flown with her to an African Union summit in Angola in 2012, both enjoying the luxuries of the aircraft.
"Interestingly, on about six or seven of these flights was my successor. So she would have known that we did not fly to Angola six times, but we flew to Angola once.
"Because what happened is that the plane left Waterkloof with her in the plane to come here [Cape Town] because I was in a portfolio committee, to pick me up to go to Angola for an AU summit meeting.
"In fact, what would be interesting would be to get a breakdown of who was in the flight with the minister. Very rarely are these flights just the minister.
"So when you talk about the R10-million, you're ... not counting the totality of the office and the people who use that flight."
Mapisa-Nqakula denies being part of any campaign to tarnish Sisulu's name.
"The minister of defence would like to state categorically that at no time, in the present or the past, has she ever had any reason to conduct a smear campaign against Minister Sisulu.
"Even with the current misunderstanding, such a possibility remains so remote, given their personal relationship and the long bonds formed during years of struggle and comradeship. These are relationships she values deeply," said her spokeswoman, Joy Peter.
Mapisa-Nqakula said she would not respond to Sisulu's threats because she was dealing with the matter through Motlanthe's office.
"The minister will continue to deal with the matter through the office of the leader of government business, and this is her preferred channel to address issues of this nature. As a result, the minister cannot respond to any suggestion for a possible legal action against her," said Peter.
An expensive way to travel
Lindiwe Sisulu, when she was minister of defence, took 15 return trips on a private jet between Johannesburg and Pretoria and Cape Town, at a total cost of R3216988 and an average of R214466 per return flight.
The flights started at Lanseria or Waterkloof Air Force Base, went via OR Tambo International Airport and landed at Ysterplaat Air Force Base, before returning to OR Tambo, then Lanseria or Waterkloof. Sisulu was not on every leg of the flights.
By way of comparison, had the minister booked a return flight on a commercial airline, the average costs (based on Kulula/British Airways quotes) would have been:
  • Booking 24 hours before, to leave and return the next day: R5250.
  • Booking one week before: R4250.
  • Booking a month before: R3000.
  • Using an average of three people per flight, the cost savings would have been:
  • 24 hours, average commercial flight: R15750; average private jet: R214466. Average saving per trip: R198716.
  • One week, average commercial flight: R12750; average private jet: R214466. Average saving per trip: R201716.
  • One month, average commercial flight: R9000; average private jet: R214466. Average saving per trip: R205466.
This is an average saving of about R200000 a flight.
Using that average, if the minister had flown on a commercial airline instead of a private jet, the 15 flights she took between Gauteng and the Western Cape would have cost roughly R3-million less than on a private jet.
The commercial airlines total would have been R217000. The cost using a private jet was R3.2-million.
Kulula and British Airways had at least 10 options available for 24-hour bookings. Booking further ahead increased the options to between 20 and 30 flights.
The legs between OR Tambo and Lanseria airports, so-called ferry flights, cost about R7000 a trip. Those 15 ferry flights cost about R105000, or half the minister's total cost had she used a commercial airline. - Gareth van Onselen

Times Live


The Rogue minister who cannot get off the GRAVY TRAIN?
She was never previously disadvantaged nor will she ever be!
As long as she has her fingers in the cookie jar she will be happy!
Her track record speaks volumes.
HER MOTTO - ....."TOGETHER WE DID - Bring the ANC down!".....



  1. In Afrikaans we say: "die pot verwyt die ketel" - both are guilty as sin ... they all know too much about the skeletons in each other's cupboards to tell tales ...

  2. Ja nee die POPPE MOET DANS!!!