Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula flew with some members of the African National Congress (ANC) to Zimbabwe while on an official diplomatic visit using a plane belonging to the country’s air force.
The government says Mapisa-Nqakula, who heads the defense ministry and military veterans, misused state resources because of “her miscalculation” and set her salary for three months, starting next month.
Mapisa-Nqakula did not act “in the best interests of good governance” and “acted in a way that was incompatible with (her) position,” the presidency said in a statement.
Instead, her salary for the three months will go into a fund supporting the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Growing opposition pressure on Mapisa-Nqakula to withdraw, although the ANC has promised to recoup spending on its approved travel budget.
“We traveled in an unusual way,” the ANC said in a statement, “and we will reimburse the government for the costs incurred on behalf of our delegation.”
An opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, says the government should have given the minister a tougher sanction.