- President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced to use a hired jet for a trip to Botswana after the official presidential jet once again broke down
- Ramaphosa arrived in Gaborone in a jet belonging to Zunaid Moti’s Moti Group
- The presidential jet known as Inkwazi has a history of unreliability
President Cyril Ramaphosa embarked on his first official state visit to Botswana over the weekend. The president arrived in Gaborone in a jet belonging to controversial businessman Zunaid Moti.
The Air Force was forced to hire a privately owned jet for Ramaphosa after the official presidential jet known as Inkwazi once again broke down.
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Moti recently made headlines when it was announced that British peer Peter Hain would serve as a special advisor to the Moti group. Moti himself is thought to have close ties to Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the Moti Group own several jets, which are hired out to Execujet and the National Airways Corporation (NAC). The Air Force, in turn, uses these entities to hire jets for official use.
The presidential jet Inkwazi has a history of being unreliable which has caused extra expense for South African taxpayers and red faces in government when delegations arrive late at destinations.
In 2015 Ramaphosa had to fly to Japan on a chartered plane owned by the Gupta family. In the same year, R10 million was spent to fly the then president Zuma back from Russia after Inkwazi broke down.
In 2016 Zuma was left high and dry in Burundi because of problems with Inkwazi. The jet once again broke down later that year while in Qatar.
The Department of Defence said Inkwazi was currently undergoing a C check with SAA technical. This process will take about six months to complete.
The department said it made use of chartered aircraft when:
• The available serviceable aircraft is/are certified to be inadequate to safely ferry a specific number of passengers and or goods;
• The serviceability status is assessed to have a potential to compromise the safety of both passengers and or crew.
The department would not comment on the costs involved in hiring jets for official use.
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