Guptagate: ‘SMSes implicating Zuma a no go’

2015-01-21 16:18

The content of text messages which allegedly implicate President Jacob Zuma in the Guptagate scandal cannot be revealed, says the SA National Defence Union.

“It’s a no go,” national secretary Pikkie Greeff said.

Revealing the content could affect the civil claim Lieutenant-Colonel Christine Anderson was planning to institute against the state, he said.

Yesterday, all charges against Anderson and Lieutenant-Colonel Stefan van Zyl were withdrawn.

They were accused of fraud and corruption in the landing of a private jet, chartered by the wealthy Gupta family, at the Waterkloof Air Force base in Tshwane on April 30 2013. It was carrying about 200 guests attending the wedding of a daughter of the Guptas at Sun City.

Beeld reported today that Anderson would bring a civil claim against the defence force for defamation of character after then Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe publicly accused her and Van Zyl of colluding in wrongdoing.

Anderson reportedly had evidence of conversations between Bruce Koloane and Zuma, Greeff told the publication. Koloane was chief of state protocol at the time of the landing.

“We will show that Koloane acted as an ‘agent’ of Zuma to make the landing possible,” he was quoted as saying.

Some of the evidence included messages which Koloane sent to Anderson in which he repeated instructions from the president.

However, during his disciplinary hearing, Koloane claimed he had lied when he used Zuma’s name, the daily reported.

Koloane had since been appointed South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands.

Last year a report on the landing was released by the justice, crime prevention, and security cluster of ministries. It found that collusion by officials resulted in irregular clearance for the plane to land.

Clearance procedures were followed, but were based on “false pretences, as a result of the manipulation of the process”.

Anderson, Van Zyl, and Warrant Officer Thabo Ntshisi were initially informed they would face charges of corruption, fraud, and conspiracy.

Anderson was suspended and the other two put on forced leave. Ntshisi indicated he would testify against the two.

The defence force withdrew the charges after lawyers for Anderson and Van Zyl gave it an ultimatum to charge the two.

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