A reply to a DA parliamentary question has revealed that the Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), General Solly Shoke, spent almost R500 000 on flights to Cuba for himself, his wife and three other, yet to be identified, officials in June this year.
The DA will now be submitting further parliamentary questions to get specific information on:
- What airline the individuals fly with;
- What class did they fly;
- Their full itinerary for the duration of the trip; and
- Whether the flights paid for by the Department of Defence were in line with cost containment measures put in place by the National Treasury?
In June, the DA revealed that the excessive amount of almost R500 000 had been spent on this six-day trip to Cuba and seemed to include accommodation and car hire.
Now it has come out that half a million rand has been spent on flights alone.
This expenditure is completely unacceptable, given that key defence areas are being neglected, essential equipment is falling apart, and we are struggling to manage peace-keeping commitments.
National Treasury has also directed Departments to implement cost containment measures given the dire state of our economy. Clearly the Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, is ignoring National Treasury and equally, is failing to ensure that hard-earned public money is spent effectively.
The DA will therefore also request that the Auditor-General, Kimi Makwetu, institute a special investigation into this reckless spending of state funds on travel.
The DA will not rest until the whole truth behind the trip is known. The Department of Defence is wasting the people’s money and must be held accountable.
Issued by DA