The Democratic Alliance (DA) has learned through a Promotion of Access to Information Act 2000 (PAIA) application that there is no evidence of the meeting that supposedly took place between the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and her Zimbabwean counterpart in September.
In an affidavit Ambassador Gladys Kudjoe, the Secretary for Defence, confirms that no minutes exist of the supposed meeting between Minister Mapisa-Nqakula and the Zimbabwean Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Opah Muchinguri-Kashiri, on 9 September 2020 in Zimbabwe.
According to the affidavit, a letter received from the Office of the Minister on 26 October 2020 stated that the meeting “was a verbal meeting and no minutes were recorded”.
How can there be no minutes to such an important, urgent meeting that warranted the breaking of Ministerial handbook rules to attend it? It is common best practice to record meetings of Ministers on international missions, and surely a meeting deemed important enough to organise in a matter of days would not be the exception.
The only conclusion can be that such a meeting between the two Ministers never took place, because the Minister and her ANC hitchhikers were never in Zimbabwe on State business. Their only business was only ever in service of the ANC and this meeting between Ministers Mapisa-Nqakula and Muchinguri-Kashiri were concocted in a poor attempt to fool the taxpayers who had to foot the bill for the abuse of State resources.
The DA will submit this affidavit to the investigating officer.
Minister Mapisa-Nqakula has shown once again that she cannot be trusted to head a department as important as the Department of Defence and Military Veterans, or any department for that matter. This affidavit proves that the Minister is trying to cover her tracks and it is time she faced the music.
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