By Ahmed Areff, News24. Photo: Leanne Stander, Beeld
Johannesburg - The presidency says the defence department will answer questions about the new VIP jet which is being procured for the President Jacob Zuma, possibly at a cost of around R4bn.
"The presidency has requested information from the Department of Defence with regards to the media reports pertaining to new aircrafts," it said in a statement on Monday.
"The presidency has also requested the department to ensure that the public is briefed on the matter as much as possible but without compromising security."
The presidency said it should also be noted that aircrafts purchased by the department for the president and deputy president belonged to the state.
Rapport reported at the weekend that Armscor, the defence ministry's procurement agency, is planning to buy Zuma a new plane that could cost as much as R4bn.
The published request on the Armscor website’s tender notice board says the aircraft must be able to carry at least 30 passengers and have a range of 13 800km. This would mean the aircraft must be able to fly to Moscow or New York without landing to refuel.
According to the request, the aircraft must also have a conference room for eight people on board as well as a private bedroom suite and bathroom.
The news has been met with condemnation, especially from opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance and the Congress of the People, among others.