A blatant and arrogant abuse of South Africa’s military by the ANC.
That’s how the governing party’s trip to meet Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe has been described by opposition parties.
The party says the defence minister gave the ANC delegation a lift to Harare this week while on her way to perform official duties.
It’s unclear if they received the necessary permission to leave the country.
“It seems like there has been no approval sought or granted. Other South Africans that fly abroad or back into South Africa must go into quarantine,” said Kobus Marais, DA MP for Safety and Security.
“That seems not to be applicable to the ANC. There is a lot of integrity that has been compromised.”
But the ANC maintains the trip was in the interest of South Africans.
“Once that border of Beitbridge collapses, and everybody comes this side, people are going to blame us as the ANC for having done nothing,” said Dakota Legoete, an ANC NEC member.
“We were doing that not for personal gain, but for the national interest as a governing party.”
Defence union SANDU says the Defence Act allows the minister to take a delegation of politicians to official meetings, but they do require authorisation.
“You have to sign an indemnity towards the state, and there has to be documentation in place authorising specific individuals with a specific purpose in mind,” said SANDU secretary Pikkie Greeff.
“Whether those authorisations were obtained, I think that’s the question the public should be asking.”
The Public Protector’s office has confirmed it is considering whether to investigate a complaint laid by AfriForum and the Freedom Front Plus.