The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture is expected to continue with testimony from SA ambassador to the Netherlands, Bruce Koloane, who was chief of state protocol at the time of the Guptas’ plane landing at Waterkloof Air Force Base.
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Report into Gupta Waterkloof landing ‘smells fishy’ – Bruce Koloane tells Zondo commission
Former chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane says the final report into the Gupta Waterkloof landing in 2013 “smells fishy”.
Koloane, who is now the South African ambassador to the Netherlands, was testifying at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday.
The justice, crime prevention and security (JCPS) cluster investigated the landing after 200 guests of the Gupta family landed at the air force base in a commercial aircraft to attend the family’s lavish wedding in Sun City.
“I want to go on record that the manner in which the final report was compiled by the JCPS smells fishy, and normally if it smells fishy, it is fish,” Koloane told inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Former Dirco DG tells state capture inquiry he was unaware of Gupta aircraft landing
Former department of international relations and cooperation director-general Jerry Matjila says he became aware of the Gupta Waterkloof air for base landing only after the family’s plane had touched down in April 2013.
Matjila, who is now the South African Ambassador to the United Nations, was testifying before the commission of inquiry into state capture headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
He told the commission he was unaware of the landing and no formal diplomatic engagements were concluded prior to the landing.
He added he had contacted the Indian high commissioner, a Mr Gupta who is not related to the Gupta family, in a bid to establish whether or not there were Indian ministers on board the flight.
‘I did not ever give myself powers that I never had’ – Koloane explains Gupta aircraft landing
Former chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane, who is now South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands, told the state capture commission of inquiry he had no authority to approve the landing of the Gupta aircraft at Waterkloof air force base.
Instead, he only asked for correct procedures to be followed in approving the flight clearance.
The Gupta family landed a commercial aircraft at the base without permission in 2013. It carried about 200 guests who were invited to attend the family’s lavish wedding at Sun City.
Testifying before inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Monday, Koloane said the first time he had learned about the request to land at the base was when he received a call from the Indian high commissioner.
Waterkloof landing: Promotion was always on the cards for Ntshisi despite security breach
The chief of South African Air Force, Lieutenant General Fabian Msimang told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Thursday that despite Major Thabo Ntshisi being implicated in the infamous Gupta Waterkloof landing, he was always going to be promoted.
Ntshisi, among others, was named as one of the people responsible in the justice, crime prevention and security (JCPS) cluster report into the 2013 Gupta Waterkloof landing. The breach saw a commercial aircraft landing at the Waterkloof military base.
It carried more than 200 guests who attended the infamous Gupta wedding in Sun City. Only VIPs and VVIPs are allowed to land at the base.
Waterkloof landing: Officials should have said ‘no, this is not on’ – top official
While witnesses at the state capture inquiry have been flip-flopping around whether they received a proper, or any, note-verbale, which would have seemingly allowed the Guptas to land their commercial aircraft at Waterkloof military base, a senior department official has thrown this argument out the window.
Lieutenant General Derrick Mbuyiselo Mgwebi, who is the acting director general of the military veterans department, was the president of the justice, crime prevention and security board of inquiry into the 2013 Gupta Waterkloof landing. The aircraft had carried about 200 guests who attended the infamous Gupta wedding at Sun City.
Testifying on Thursday about the processes that should have been followed in granting clearance for the aircraft, Mgwebi pointed out that Lieutenant Colonel Christine Anderson, South African Ambassador to the Netherlands Bruce Koloane who was the former head of state protocol during the landing, and Major Thabo Ntshisi should have acted before the plane even landed.
Direct order from state protocol chief prompted Gupta’s Waterkloof landing, Zondo commission hears
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation’s senior foreign affairs assistant, William Matjila, has told the commission of inquiry into state capture that he started realising that there were irregularities in the Gupta’s Waterkloof landing of 2013 when he did not receive the required note verbale – or diplomatic correspondence.
Matjila, who testified on Thursday morning at the inquiry, said he was asked to process a request from “the Indian delegation” – understood to be the Indian High Commission – and went ahead with the request after receiving “confirmation” from then-chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane.
Koloane was the only person who faced repercussions for his role in allowing the landing, despite the justice, crime prevention and security (JCPS) cluster investigation implicating a range of people. He was later made ambassador to the Netherlands, a position he still holds.
Gupta wedding: ‘I was not satisfied with the clearance for the Waterkloof landing’ – Major Thabo Ntshisi
Only three people are allowed to land an aircraft at Waterkloof military base – the president, deputy president or any person who is sent by the president on government duty.
This is according to Major Thabo Ntshisi who works at the military base’s command post.
Ntshisi was testifying before the commission of inquiry into state capture about the controversial 2013 Gupta Waterkloof landing.
The incident saw commercial aircraft, chartered by the Guptas, landing at the base. They were filled with about 200 guests who attended a lavish wedding at Sun City in the North West.
They ‘manipulated the system’ to make it happen – former justice DG on Guptas’ Waterkloof landing
Nonkululeko Sindane, former director general of justice and constitutional development, and the person who chaired the justice, crime prevention and security cluster (JCPS) investigation into the Guptas’ Waterkloof landing, has detailed what the probe looked into and who was found responsible, at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.
Sindane was testifying on Wednesday morning. The commission started hearing testimony on Tuesday relating to the controversial landing.
In 2013, the Gupta family landed a commercial aircraft at the Waterkloof Air Force Base. The planes carried about 200 guests who were to attend an extravagant wedding at Sun City.
I did not give anyone instructions to allow Gupta wedding landing – former transport minister
The former transport minister, Ben Martins, has told the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture that at, at no stage, did he give anyone instructions to allow the Guptas’ aircraft to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base in 2013.
“The Ministry of Transport … does not have authority over Waterkloof air base. It falls under the Department of Defence and Military Veterans,” he told inquiry chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, during his testimony on Tuesday.
In 2013, a private plane carrying about 200 guests to the wedding of Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia was allowed to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base, and blue light brigades whisked the guests off to Sun City.
Several ministers and political figures attended the wedding.