Sisulu, Maynier spar over luxury jets

Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu dismissed a

Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu dismissed a "flea-infested" DA MP after he accused her of wasting public funds on flights on luxury jets. (David Harrison, M&G)

Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu told DA MP David Maynier to take his "flea-infested body" and sit down after he accused her of wasting funds.

Maynier has previously accused Sisulu of spending R40-million on her VIP flights over three years, many of which were on Gulfstream jets, saying the major concern was that millions of rands appeared to have been wasted on hundreds of empty VIP "ferry" flights. 

According to Maynier, 203 flights were requested for Sisulu on the Gulfstream jets, but 69 of them were "ferry" flights to fetch her and take her to a destination. He raised the issue again in the National Assembly on Tuesday, the Business Day reported.

"I can only imagine that the former minister of defence and military veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, is desperately missing the ultra-luxury [of the] privately-owned Gulfstream executive jets operated by the South African Air Force," he was quoted as saying.

Current Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has acknowledged in a reply to a parliamentary question that Sisulu travelled in a luxury Gulfstream jet more than 200 times between Pretoria and Cape Town, at the cost of R200 000 a trip.

Maynier said: "The minister of defence claims there were 203 flights. But the former minister of defence claims there were 35 flights."

According to the report, Sisulu said Maynier's claims were "hogwash and balderdash" and instructed him to take his "flea-infested body and sit down".

National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu responded to complaints about Sisulu's remarks by saying he would study Hansard, the printed transcripts of parliamentary debates, and make a ruling later. – Sapa

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