A statement by the Presidency reported that Zuma’s Presidential Inkwazi has once again left him stranded and that as an alternative, the president had to seek alternative means in order to come back to South Africa in time for the centenary celebrations of the University of Fort Hare.
This incident with the presidential Inkwazi marks the second time in a week the jet was mentioned in a statement by the Presidency.
According to the statement released by the presidency, Zuma landed in Pretoria on Friday morning‚ “returning from a successful state visit to Qatar”‚ but added that the aircraft “used by the president‚ Inkwazi‚ developed technical problems in Qatar resulting in the use of an alternative aircraft”.
There were rumours going round last week that a technical fault was experienced with Inkwazi while the President was in Uganda which the presidency cleared, adding that the reports were incorrect.
In a statement released by the Presidency, it said: “The Presidency wishes to confirm that the plane did not experience any technical problems or malfunction of any nature during the visit to Uganda.”
The statement further explained that it was due to misinformation at the time that Defence Water Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane had indicated last Friday that the plane had malfunctioned. The Presidency later updated the Minister about the real status of the jet.
The presidential Inkwazi has received a lot of attention after it was announced that the jet will be changed to a new one.
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane urged president Zuma to reverse the decision by the Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to acquire a new jet to replace Inkwazi.
An expert described the plan to replace the current SA presidential jet as “foolish”.