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Ramaphosa trip done ‘by the book’: Mapisa-Nqakula

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Correct procedures were followed in chartering a plane which happened to be owned by the Gupta family to take Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to Japan, the defence minister said on Friday.

“All of the information at my disposal talks to the fact that everything was done by the book. There is nothing as far as I’m concerned which we have done [wrong],” Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told reporters at Waterkloof Air Force Base.

She said it was necessary to focus on the processes followed, not on the owners of particular planes. It would have been a different matter had the air force gone to the Gupta family and asked for a plane.

She said somebody had “mischievously suggested” that Ramaphosa should have refused to fly on the plane.

“The principals never know whose aircraft they are using.”

The air force approached ExecuJet to take Ramaphosa and a government delegation to Japan on an official visit.

This was the second company on a Treasury-approved list. The first company on the list could not meet the mandatory requirements for security.

ExecuJet does not own and operate its own aircraft. It manages a fleet of aircraft on behalf of various owners.

She said neither the air force nor Ramaphosa had a case to answer, as everything was done “by the book”. News24

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