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Cost of the Ukraine-Russia Mission to Be Included in President Ramaphosa’s Annual Report

President Cyril Ramaphosa evaded a parliamentary question regarding the total expense of his Ukraine-Russia peace mission in June by stating that it would be disclosed in the annual report of the Presidency.

In addition, he has deferred another query from Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen regarding the cost of the chartered plane on which his security detail and a media contingent were trapped for over a day.

Over one hundred members of the security forces were initially denied entry into Poland, from where they were to accompany the president to Ukraine, due to a dispute with Polish authorities regarding the weaponry on board the aircraft.

In a written response to Steenhuisen’s queries, President Ramaphosa refrained from stating whether he believes the Polish authorities were justified in denying his security personnel immediate entry into the country.

The commander of his VIP Protection Unit, Major-General Wally Rhoode, alleged on the Warsaw runway that the Polish authorities were racist towards the South African contingent.

Instead, Ramaphosa stated that the Polish government provided diplomatic explanations for their refusal, which are also public record.

He added that his train travel to Kyiv for his meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenksy was sponsored by the Ukrainian government at no expense to South African taxpayers.

In his annual report, he will reconcile and account for the total cost of the mission, which includes his subsequent travel to Russia.

The president stated that the SAPS and the military are the most qualified to answer questions regarding the expense of the SAA charter flight for his security personnel.