Army mum on R1,3m

Kingdom Mabuza and Reuters

Kingdom Mabuza and Reuters

The South African National Defence Force has refused to say exactly why R1,3million was being kept at the Waterkloof Air Base.

Thieves stole the money in a daring robbery this week.

According to some reports, the money was earmarked for presidential flights abroad.

Defence spokesman Sam Mkwanazi yesterday would only say the money was kept for "operational matters".

"I cannot publicly reveal operational matters of the army, but I can assure everyone that the money was not for presidential flights abroad," he said.

The thieves used crowbars to pry open two security doors and cut into the safes on Tuesday night.

Mkhwanazi said military and South African police were investigating.

Reports said the funds were designated for landing rights and fuel for aircraft carrying President Thabo Mbeki and other officials on overseas trips.