South African President Slashes Minister’s Salary Over Misuse of Air Force Plane

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, South Africa’s defence minister

Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa’s president, has cut the salary of Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the country’s defence minister, over “misuse of air force plane”.

A three-month salary cut was slammed on the defence minister after she allowed officials of the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), to travel on the air force jet with her to Zimbabwe on September 9.

The minister, who was on an official trip to the neighbouring country, was accused of misusing national resources for political business after she accommodated officials of the ruling party, who were also going to Zimbabwe, on the plane.

The ANC officials were scheduled to meet with members of Zimbabwe’s ruling party to resolve the country’s political and economic challenges. Ramaphosa, however, stated that the defence minister had made an error of judgement

The president said the minister did not act “in the best interest of good governance”, and ordered that the cut from the defence minister’s salary will be used to fund the fight against COVID-19.

“The President has further sanctioned the Minister by imposing a salary sacrifice on the Minister’s salary for three months, starting from 1 November 2020. Her salary for the three months should be paid into the Solidarity Fund which was established to support the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” a statement by the presidency on Saturday, read.

“The President further directed the Minister to make sure that the ANC reimburses the state for the costs of the flight to Harare and to report to him once that has been done.”

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Meanwhile, South Africa’s opposition party, Democratic Alliance Party, criticised the minister’s action and described the president’s pay cut punishment as a slap on the wrist.

The opposition party is calling for the minister’s sack.

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