South Africa 9.7.2017 12:58 pm

This is how Guptas were allowed to land at Air Force Base Waterkloof – report

FILE PICTURE: Guests from the Gupta Wedding at international departures Terminal A at OR Tambo International Airport on May 3, 2013, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Gupta family celebrated the wedding of Vega Gupta to Indian-born Aaskash Jahajgarhia. The multimillion-rand wedding was mired in further controversy when Cosatu members in the North West levelled racism claims against guests attending the event at Sun City resort. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times / James Oatway)

FILE PICTURE: Guests from the Gupta Wedding at international departures Terminal A at OR Tambo International Airport on May 3, 2013, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Gupta family celebrated the wedding of Vega Gupta to Indian-born Aaskash Jahajgarhia. The multimillion-rand wedding was mired in further controversy when Cosatu members in the North West levelled racism claims against guests attending the event at Sun City resort. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sunday Times / James Oatway)

Permission was never granted for the Guptas’ wedding guests to land from SARS, the Civil Aviation Authority and defence force.

Instead, Bruce Koloane, then head of state protocol, sent the pilot who landed the Jet Airways flight highly sensitive information including maps and aviation charts over insecure email systems such as Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail in a bid to camouflage a paper trail that would directly link him to the Guptas.

According to the Sunday Times, Jet Airways advised Anil Gupta, father to Vega Gupta, that permission first had to be obtained from the CAA. A letter was then written to the Indian high commissioner, requesting his intervention.

“Landing at the airport will not only be highly convenient but will also ensure the comfort and safety of our high-profile guests,” the email read.

Koloane sent information to Ashu Chawla, CEO of Gupta-owned Sahara group, who then passed it on to the management of Jet Airways.

The information sent to the pilot consisted of military charts, official airforce markings,  information on radio and navigation frequencies and co-ordinates of buildings reserved for state officials and airline employees.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said a new investigation would commence upon receipt of the new information contained in leaked emails.

The landing of guests at Waterkloof is said to have been in breach of the Defence Act, SARS Act and Customs and Excise Act. The penalty for this could be jail time for all the officials involved, including Tony Gupta, who facilitated the landing though his government contacts, Sunday Times further reported.

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