Mkhize Flights: Premier must accept repayment offer

Sizwe Mchunu, MPP

DA Leader in KZN

KZN Premier, Senzo Mchunu, must immediately take up former Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize’s, offer to repay a R1.2 million flight bill racked up over a three year period while Premier of KwaZulu-Natal.

Dr Mkhize took 45 flights with private jets in three years, costing the provincial government R1.2 million. Many of the flights were to weddings and funerals seemingly in the former Premier’s personal capacity.

This is excessive and a waste of government money. Helen Zille always travels economy class when travelling in her capacity as Premier of the Western Cape. There is no reason Dr Mkhize couldn’t have done the same.

Last week, the DA challenged Dr Mkhize to repay this money to the KZN government – since it was so clearly inappropriate for him to spend the money in this way in the first place, particularly at a time when the province was under severe financial constraints.

Yesterday Dr Mkhize agreed to repay the money if the current Premier requested him to do so.

The DA calls on Premier Mchunu to accept this offer and demand repayment in full. We will also be launching a campaign to encourage people to e-mail the Premier’s office to demand repayment. We will drive this campaign in our structures and through social media.

We encourage all members of the public to e-mail the Premier’s office at:  kznonline@kznpremier.gov.za

I will be sending Premier Mchunu a letter demanding that he accepts Dr Mkhize’s offer to repay the money. I encourage everyone else to do the same.

The former Premier’s acknowledgement of guilt and wrongdoing inherent in his desire to repay the money is welcome. It is good that Dr Mkhize has come to see that it was inappropriate to charge the people of KZN for his own luxury private flights. It is unfortunate that it has taken a public outcry for him to come to this realisation.

Premier Mchunu must accept his offer to repay.