19 April 2021 - NW477
Hill-Lewis, Mr GG to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
With reference to the reply of the President, Mr M C Ramaphosa, to question 2256 on 5 January 2021, (a) what was the total cost of the charter, (b) who were the private individuals who requested the SA National Defence Force (SANDF ) to transport their donations of personal protective equipment to Cuba, (c) under what policy and/or regulations was this private transport approved, (d) how did the private individuals know about the charter when this charter was not publicly announced and (e) how does the SANDF explain not having any details about the presence of a certain person (name furnished) on an SANDF charter flight?
The former South African Ambassador to Cuba His Excellency Mr Pitso coordinated the donation and requested the SANDF to take the collected items to Cuba since there was a chartered flight to Cuba which was taking personal artefact for students in Cuba and fetching those that has completed their studies. This was under special circumstances when borders were closed in many countries.
The former Ambassador is in regular contact with the Cuban Mission in South Africa, hence he got to know about the flight to Cuba by the SANDF for their own members as well as those of the NDoH. The arrangement was between the Embassy of Cuba and the donor.
Private organisations and individuals would normally not have this service available to them.