People should keep their hands off the deputy president, the ruling party told sections of the media and some political parties who continue to "campaign" against Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Reacting to the flight cost saga on Tuesday, ANC spokesperson Smuts Ngonyama said in a statement: "The ANC remains concerned that even with clear evidence to the contrary some people are hell-bent on tarnishing the image of the deputy president and by extension the image of the ANC-led government."
Ngonyama was referring to suggestions that Mlambo-Ngcuka was involved in travel arrangements for a recent trip to the United Kingdom which set taxpayers back an estimated R4.55-million.
"Although it has been clearly explained that the responsibility for the air travel of the president and deputy president resides with the South African Air Force, and that the minister of defence has set up a board of inquiry into this particular flight, there are some who continue to suggest some form of wrongdoing on the part of the deputy president."
Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota earlier said a board of inquiry, chaired by someone from outside the department, would be set up to look into the matter.
Lekota emphasised that the presidency could not to be blamed for hiring the plane; "therefore any attempt to suggest that either the staff of the presidency or the deputy president herself is to
blame, must be rejected with the contempt it deserves."
from IOL here