The South African Defence Force (SANDF) on Friday confirmed that the reported Gupta chartered aircraft, ZS-OAK, landed and took off from the Air Force Base Waterkloof to ferry military and civilian dignitaries in 2015.
Spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said that the aircraft ferried various invited military and civilian dignitaries to the South African Army Combat Training Centre in Lohatla, Northern Cape. He said the dignitaries and captains of the defence industry were invited to attend the 2015 edition of “Exercise Amani Africa”.
The SANDF uses chartered aircraft when the “Serviceable aircraft” are certified to be “inadequate to safely ferry” a specific number of passengers and or goods and when the serviceability status is assessed to have a potential to compromise the safety of both passengers and or crew, Dlamini said.
“It is standard aircraft charter procedure for the Department of Defence (DOD) to forward a request for an aircraft charter through the National Treasury approved RT61 contract process,” he said.
“It is through this process that ExecuJet was appointed as the service provider for the required aircraft. The SANDF has no influence nor say in how the charter process is managed and the required aircraft is solicited.”
On Thursday, it was reported that the ZS-OAK belonged to the controversial Gupta family. According to reports, emails sent to CE of Gupta owned Sahara Computers, Ashu Chawla, show the aircraft’s movement.
According to the report, the emails show that the aircraft was chartered by SANDF since a wedding in 2013 and has been allowed to land at the air force base.
In 2013, the family used the air force base to land the same jet to fly in guests for the family’s international wedding which caused a furore.
– African News Agency (ANA)