Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma should use SA Airways
when flying, and the country did not need to spend R2bn on a new aircraft for
him, the DA said on Friday.
"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."
Maynier was responding to a report in the Star that defence
secretary Sam Makhudu Guluybe was visiting the United States to finalise the
purchase of a 300-seater Boeing 777-200LR for Zuma.
The jet would cost $150m (about R1.26bn) and an extra $80m
(about R672.5m) to reconfigure.
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).
"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," Maynier said.
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.