Ramaphosa should ‘consider’ recalling Koloane – Pandor

Former chief of protocol Bruce Koloane is pictured at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Johannesburg, 03 July 2019. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Former chief of protocol Bruce Koloane is pictured at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Johannesburg, 03 July 2019. Picture: Refilwe Modise

This follows the minister saying at a media briefing that she would discuss the future of the ambassador with the president.

On the Eusebius McKaiser show on Friday morning on 702, Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor said she felt that President Cyril Ramaphosa should “consider” recalling Ambassador to the Netherlands Bruce Koloane.

This follows his admission at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture that he pressurised the South African National Defence Force to authorise the hugely controversial landing of an aeroplane by members of the Gupta family at the Waterkloof Airforce Base in 2013.

He also admitted to using the names of former president Jacob Zuma, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and former transport minister Ben Martins to force Waterkloof-based Major Thabo Ntshisi and Colonel Christine Anderson to achieve flight clearance for the plane, which was carrying 200 guests destined for a wedding at Sun City.

“It would be good in South Africa if we developed the practice of when we’ve errored in that way that has brought our country into disrepute and ourselves as individuals, that we actually stand up and stand aside,” Pandor told McKaiser.

This follows department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) head of public diplomacy Clayson Monyela saying on Wednesday, also on 702, that Koloane would stay on as ambassador as the department already knew of Koloane’s transgressions, which had earned him a written warning.

READ MORE: Zondo commission looks at Waterkloof Gupta landing report

“He pleaded guilty to all charges, and the outcome of that disciplinary process was a final written warning but linked to that, Koloane was also removed from his position of chief of state protocol and was no longer responsible to that state of work. That is what happened at that time,” he said.

At a media briefing ahead of her department’s budget vote in parliament on Thursday, Pandor said she would be having a discussion with President Cyril Ramaphosa as to whether Koloane remained a suitable candidate for ambassador following his admissions.

Also on Thursday, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation called on Pandor to recall Koloane.

“We cannot have somebody – who has admitted to lying, and who was seemingly unashamed of doing the bidding of those who have come to epitomise state capture in South Africa – being a representative of the country,” said Neeshan Balton, the foundation’s executive director.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, Brian Sokutu)

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