South Africa's opposition has demanded that the government scrap plans to buy a new jet for President Jacob Zuma that could cost 4bn rand ($280m; £185m).

The defence department has advertised for a plane with a bedroom suite and a conference room.

The presidency has responded, asking the department to brief the public "as much as possible" on the purchase.

Secretary for defence Sam Gulube told City Press that they don't know how much the plane would cost.

But the advert for suppliers specifies they are looking for a plane with a range of 13,800km (8,600 miles), meaning it can fly to Moscow or New York without landing to refuel.

The tender notice also says the plane should have 30 passenger seats – double the number of the president's current plane.

The department of defence says the jet would replace the current plane, Ikwazi, which has been grounded a number of times due to mechanical problems.

But opposition parties are pushing for a cheaper, less luxurious option.

"A four-billion rand luxury VIP jet fitted with a private bedroom suite‚ a bathroom and conference room for eight and 30-person capacity is not the answer," said the Democratic Alliance spokesperson on defence matter Kobus Marais.

Pikkie Greef from the organisation representing soldiers, the South African Defence Union (Sandu) added that the expense was unnecessary.

"There is no reason why President Zuma cannot travel the way President Mandela used to travel which is with stop-overs and refuelling," he told Eye Witness News.

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