DA lodges PP probe as Ramaphosa’s gravy plane undermines hunger crisis

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
12 Nov 2023 in News

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be writing to Public Protector, Koleka Gcaleka, requesting a full investigation into allegations of exorbitant and wasteful expenditure for catering aboard the Inkwazi presidential jet.

On the 12-hour flight from London to South Africa alone, following the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II last year, it is alleged that catering came to a whopping R24 000 per head amounting to just under R600 000 in total for fewer than 18 VIP guests.

These damning allegations are made worse considering that just this week a report by investigative journalist, Estelle Ellis, was released which revealed that between August 2022 and September 2023, 1,722 cases of severe acute malnutrition in children were diagnosed in the Eastern Cape.

Of these, 101 died, as did another 13 who were diagnosed with moderate to severe acute malnutrition.

It is clear that while President Ramaphosa and his VIPs rack up exorbitant catering and alcohol bills for travel, at the expense of the South African taxpayer, thousands of ordinary South Africans are left to perish from severe hunger and malnutrition. So blatant is the gluttony and greed of presidential VIPs, that even surplus food, drink, and entire chocolate cakes are smuggled out of Inkwazi in their luggage.

In the face of a mounting hunger crisis in South Africa, Ramaphosa’s callous response of ‘let them steal cake’ is the ultimate depiction of just how out of touch the president is with the needs of the South African people, and how uncaring the ANC government has become as the ruling party has become drunk on power.

South Africans deserve a government that will move mountains to ensure that they can put three nutritious meals on the table each day for their families, not a government that will move baked goods, chocolates, and expensive alcohol from the presidential jet to the homes of connected cadres.

It is deplorable that President Ramaphosa and the ANC can continue to show such blatant disregard for the suffering of the South African people whose inability to meet their most basic needs is a violation of the Bill of Rights as enshrined in the Constitution.

The DA will be calling for an immediate investigation into these allegations of travel gluttony so that public money can be spent feeding the hungry and not fat cat ANC politicians.

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