Report coming from the Presidency said that the South African presidential jet kept President Jacob Zuma stranded in Burundi after the jet developed some mechanical problems on Friday.
“President Zuma was unable to leave Burundi when his aircraft Inkwazi developed technical problems,” spokesperson of the office of the president Bongani Majola said in a statement.
The presidential jet Inkwazi was not experiencing this technical hitch for the first time as it had been grounded due to mechanical difficulties in the past.
President Zuma’s proposal to spend R4bn on accquiring a state of the art new presidential jet for him and his entourage to travel in stirred intense criticism from citizens.
The plane was reported to be able to accommodate 30 passengers with a luxurious interior made up of a conference room, bathroom and private bedroom which is becoming of a presidential entourage.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that Mosiua Lekota, who was the Defence Minister when the Inkwazi was bought, made it clear that the price included R300m for the jet, and another R108m to fit the interior decorations.
During the outburst of comments and criticism over Zuma’s R4bn jet, University of Pretoria politics lecturer Roland Henwood told News24 that Zuma’s plane was only second to that of the US president, only President Barack Obama had a better plane than Zuma.
“There are world leaders who have presidential jets, but that’s exactly what they are, business jets. They are much smaller than what he (Zuma) has at this stage.
“Only President Obama has a better aircraft,” Henwood said.
Meanwhile, Majola said due to Zuma’s absence, the Deputy President will take his place at the 16th Annual National Teaching Awards to be held in Johannesburg on Saturday.