The circumstances around Minister Mapisa-Nqakula's decision to allow a Burundian woman to accompany her on an official flight remain unclear.
Mapisa-Nqakula is alleged to have taken a detour to Democratic Republic of Congo to pick up the woman before proceeding to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for an African Union meeting.
702/Cape Talk's Redi Tlhabi spoke to Head of Ministerial Services, Mike Ramagona, regarding the matter.
Listen to the interview below:
The Sunday Times wrote the story before they talked to the minister. The interview with the minister indicated the circumstances in which it happened.— Mike Ramagoma, Head of Ministerial Services for Defence Ministry
Her passport was confiscated when she was in Burundi. When she was released in the Congo, she had copies of her travelling documents.— Mike Ramagoma, Head of Ministerial Services for Defence Ministry
This is a person in distress... You can approach the embassy for assistance as long as you're able to provide proof as to who you are. You are not necessarily expected that you'll always have your documents.— Mike Ramagoma, Head of Ministerial Services for Defence Ministry
In her response to the matter, Mapisa-Nqakula has accussed the media of twisting the facts.
We are dealing here with a young person who has been living from country to country. She has been living with foster parents and refugee homes and someone trying to survive an abusive life.— Mike Ramagoma, Head of Ministerial Services for Defence Ministry
Sunday Times journalist, Mzilikazi Wa Afrika, has called the explanation, and alleges that the minister's staff gathered at her house to devise a plan to spin the story before it was published.
It was the minister who begged us not to publish the story and asked us to postpone it for another week.— Mzilikazi Wa Afrika, Sunday Times journalist
The fact she [the Burundian woman] was arrested and kept in detention in DRC for more than 10 days means that she has broken some kind of law.— Mzilikazi Wa Afrika, Sunday Times journalist
The Minister was supposed to go to Addis Ababa to attend an AU then she decided to take a detour to go via DRC.— Mzilikazi Wa Afrika, Sunday Times journalist
The fact that she went to Burundi to pick her up is a problem because that is taxpayers' money.— Mzilakazi Wa Afrika, Sunday Times journalist