Amanda Watson
News Editor
2 minute read
4 Oct 2013
6:00 am

Government denies Guptagate claims

Amanda Watson

The only reasonable deduction why the State went after Lieutenant-Colonel Christine Anderson was because the former Chief of State Protocol Bruce Koloane was telling the truth, said the South African National Defence Force Union.

FILE PICTURE: The Jet Airways plane parked in the cargo section of OR Tambo. Picture: Neil McCartney

Koloane was demoted from his position but remained an employee after being fined two months’ salary. When he returns from suspension this month, he will be placed on a six-month probation.

“If Koloane was guilty, why is he still employed?” demanded Sandu spokesman Pikkie Greeff. At about 6.50am on April 30, a Jet Airways chartered flight Jet Airways flight JAI 9900 touched down at the Waterkloof Air Force Base. A furore erupted when it was discovered the plane was carrying guests from India to attend the wedding of Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia at Sun City.

The landing was deemed a national security incident, though at the time, the Guptas said they had permission to use the airport. A subsequent investigation by a team from the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster investigated the incident and found that Koloane and Anderson shared common purpose and acted in concert.

The report said that the “landing of the flight was a direct manipulation of processes and was undesirable”. The report further stated it wanted a public service awareness campaign to discourage the practice of name dropping.

Anderson remains employed but it seems the memo on name- dropping has not reached her yet. Explosive testimony by Anderson implicated President Jacob Zuma which was not well-received by those in the Union Buildings.

“Government says it has noted what it described as “misleading versions” of media reports that President Jacob Zuma was involved in the unauthorised landing of a private plane at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in May. Government dismisses these allegations as false and unfounded,” said Acting Government Communications CEO Phumla Williams.

She said the media reports did not reflect any new evidence and instead reported on information that was already in the public domain.

“The team of directors-general, who probed the incident, had considered all aspects and had communicated that President Jacob Zuma was not in any way linked to the unauthorised landing of the aircraft,” Williams said.

“The investigation revealed that influential names were deceptively used in order to allow the plane to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base. This is not new information as portrayed by the media,” Williams added.