Johannesburg – Defence Minister Sam Makhudu Guluybe is in the US to finalise the purchase of a 300-seater R2bn Boeing for President Jacob Zuma, a report said on Friday.
The VIP jet would cost $150m (about R1.26bn) and an extra $80m (about R672.5m) to reconfigure, The Star reported.
Also included in the deal was a Global Express 600 costing $28m (R235m) for the deputy president, bringing the total bill for VVIP transport to $258m (about R2.17bn).
Though negotiated on the basis of Cabinet approval, The Star said it had information that the deal had failed to follow normal requirements that such procurements be put out to competitive tender.
Zuma should use SAA – DA
The Democratic Alliance slammed the deal and said the president should use SA Airways when flying.
“If British Prime Minister David Cameron can use British Airways to fly, then Zuma can fly SAA,” said Democratic Alliance defence and military veterans spokesperson David Maynier.
“It is simply wrong to spend R2bn on a presidential jet when so many people in the country are poor. I believe a presidential jet should only be used in exceptional circumstances.
“I hope that delegates at the African National Congress’s national policy conference will confront Zuma and ask him how he can spend so much money on a jet that could be used to assist our country with poverty and unemployment.”
He said he intended asking Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate whether state spending on the new aircraft for Zuma and the deputy president was warranted.
The defence ministry could not be reached for comment.