DOCUMENTS

Mapisa-Nqakula covering up Tlokwe helicopter scandal - David Maynier

DA MP says defence minister is zig-zagging over real reason for her visit to the municipality

Defence Minister covers up use of a military helicopter to Tlokwe

The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, is deliberately covering up the facts on the scandal surrounding the use of a military helicopter to fly to Tlokwe.

The Minister's reply to my parliamentary question, probing her controversial helicopter flight to Tlokwe, is clearly designed to cover up the facts.

First, the Minister obscures the purpose of the helicopter flight to Tlokwe. The Minister now claims that the purpose of her visit was "to deal with a public security matter". 

Second, the Minister refused to disclose the full names and positions held by the persons who accompanied her on the helicopter flights to and from Tlokwe. The Minister simply refers to "staff members from the ministry" having accompanied her.

Third, the Minister refuses to disclose the full names and positions held by the persons who she met in Tlokwe. The Minister simply refers to "various community leaders" who she met at a municipal facility.

And, fourth the Minister refuses to disclose the cost of the helicopter flights to and from Tlokwe. Bizarrely, the Minister claims that the cost of the helicopter flights has not been "quantified" by the South African Air Force.

The Minister has made a big mistake.

Rather than come clean about the facts, the Minister has chosen to cover-up the facts.

What this suggests is that the Minister did, in fact, use a military helicopter for what amounted to a party political engagement in Tlokwe.

The Minister is clearly zig-zagging her way around the truth about her visit to Tlokwe.

We will, therefore, write to the Leader of Government Business, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, requesting him to compel the Minister to provide a comprehensive reply to my parliamentary question on the scandal surrounding the use of a military helicopter to deal with the crisis in Tlokwe.

Statement issued by David Maynier MP, DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, September 4 2013

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