DA minister flights corruption ANC

Image: Adobe Stock

‘Gravy plane’: DA slam wasteful ANC spending on luxury flights

The DA have demanded that ANC Ministers, associates, and spouses pay their own way after spending R45 million on luxury flights since 2014.

DA minister flights corruption ANC

Image: Adobe Stock

The Democratic Alliance (DA) have vowed to continue putting pressure on government to hold a plethora of African National Congress (ANC) ministers personally accountable for gross overspending on flights, following National Assembly Speaker Thandie Modise’s concession that far too much taxpayer money has been frivolously wasted in the past 10 years. 

In November last year, the DA revealed through a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) request that Parliament spent R45.3 million on luxury flights for retired ANC ministers, deputy ministers and their spouses between 2014 and 2020.

Modise acknowledges overspending in Parliament  

Leon Schreiber, the DA’s Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration, said that retired ministers continue to mop up the benefits of travel budgets, while he listed a staggering group of government ministers and associates linked to a variety of corruption scandals who took to the skies with reckless abandon. 

“Our exposé revealed the shocking reality that the jet-setting lifestyles of venal and corrupt politicians continue to cost hard-working taxpayers long after they have retired,” said Schreiber.

He said that Parliament was allowing an average of R10 million every year on “gravy plane flights for retired ministers”,

“It was only after relentless DA pressure that National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise admitted that this was an obscene and immoral practice on Monday 1 June.”

“While we welcome Modise’s DA-inspired Damascus moment, we remain deeply concerned by Modise’s apparent plan to simply outsource this wastage of money to the executive and to provincial legislatures. It is unacceptable for her to simply shift the responsibility for this wastage to other parts of government, because at the end of the day it will still be taxpayer money that is wasted on the gravy plane,” said Schreiber. 

Who’s on the DA’s luxury flight hit-list?  

The DA insist that considering the immense poverty facing millions of people in South Africa, and the salaries afforded to Ministers, that they should pay for their own flight tickets.

Schreiber outlined how the following ANC ministers and associates had spent hundreds thousands on flights, saying:

  • Derek Hanekom had no qualms about wasting R114 432 of taxpayer money on luxury flight tickets last year;
  • Enoch Godwangana got R240 442 from the people of South Africa over the last two years;
  • Ace Magashule’s right-hand man, Malusi Gigaba and his spouse, got R200 413 from hard-working taxpayers;
  • Tina Joemat-Pettersson, who is implicated in the illegal sale of South Africa’s strategic fuel reserves, got R443 850 to finance her jet-setting lifestyle;
  • Des van Rooyen, who was finance minister for only one weekend, got a R242 015 gift from taxpayers to fly in style;
  • Fikile Mbalula and his spouse pocketed R183 920 in flight tickets;
  • Taxpayers’ money was used to finance the flights of Nathi Nhleko, the former police minister who disgraced himself in defence of the corruption at Nkandla, to the tune of R363 133;
  • Faith Muthambi, one of Jacob Zuma’s most senior lieutenants, merrily spent R267 668 in taxpayer money to jet set;
  • Dina Pule, who was fired by Zuma after even he could no longer defend the corruption allegations stemming from her time as communications minister, was gifted R240 997;
  • Dipuo Peters, who most recently oversaw the collapse of PRASA, pocketed R150 670 in business class tickets;
  • Ben Martins, who defended Gupta-linked looting at Eskom, and his spouse wasted a staggering R685 657 on business class flights;
  • David Mahlobo, another Gupta acolyte, spent R349 289;
  • Yunus Carrim, who enthusiastically paved the way for industrial-scale looting when he helped kill the Scorpions, happily accepted R184 063;
  • Hard-working South Africans paid R97 838 for luxury flights for the alleged perpetrator of gender-based violence, Mduduzi Manana;
  • Disgraced former ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman pocketed flights worth R94 261;
  • Last year, former deputy minister of trade and current Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina and his wife milked R299 818 from the state;
  • Criminal suspect Bongani Bongo got R78 000 from taxpayers last year to fly in style;
  • Roelf Meyer used R224 966 in taxpayer money for flights over the last two years;
  • Trevor Manuel milked taxpayers to the tune of R312 135 over the last two years; and
  • Mcebisi Jonas and his spouse spent R378 290 on luxury flights in two years.