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ANC flight to Zim could have been legal

16 September 2020 10:57 AM
Tags:
ANC
Politics
local
Zimbabwe delegation

Mechanisms exist for Cabinet and ministers to send private citizens on state business, explains law expert.

UCT'S Public Law specialist Cathy Powell talks to Refilwe Moloto about how the ANC has crossed lines in hitching a ride to Zimbabwe on the Defence Minister's aircraft.

When asked by a reporter on the runway if the ANC used State resources by flying to Zimbabwe on a SA Airforce plane, Secretary-General Ace Magashlue replied, 'No.'

President Ramaphosa demanded a report on the matter from those involved, including ANC's Ace Magashule and Tony Yengeni.

On Tuesday it was reported that the ANC has said it will now pay back the money.

Does this decision matter, asks Refilwe?

It's peripheral. It is in effect money lost to corruption, and money lost to corruption should be returned.

Cathy Powell, Public Law Specialist - UCT

How could a non-government delegation boarding a government plane of the ministry of defence, and travelling to another state during a pandemic with an international travel ban in place, have been legal, asks Powell?

It could have been legal if Cabinet had decided that it as in the national interests for an ANC delegation to go and speak to Zanu-PF to try and persuade them to stop torturing people for example. If Cabinet decided that was necessary,

Cathy Powell, Public Law Specialist - UCT

In summary, Cabinet would have had to decide this action was necessary. The defence minister, after consultation with the finance minister, and permission from the transport minister, could have exercised her power under Section 80 of the Defence Act to allow civilians on a military plane to perform a necessary state function, explains Powell.

Only then, would the ANC delegation have been allowed, although private citizens, onto the plane.

Cathy Powell, Public Law Specialist - UCT

Powell says the bigger issue is that no one in state organs and institutions flagged this before it happened.

Listen to the interview below?


16 September 2020 10:57 AM
Tags:
ANC
Politics
local
Zimbabwe delegation

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