Guptagate’s Bruce Koloane demoted to liaison officer

2013-10-09 14:39

Former chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane has been demoted to provincial liaison officer in the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco).

City Press can reveal that Koloane, who was at the centre of the unlawful landing of Gupta wedding guests at Air Force Base Waterkloof in April, has been relegated to provincial liaison officer for the department.

A highly placed Dirco source, who declined to be named, as the matter stemmed from Koloane’s disciplinary hearing, said Koloane resumed his duties this month after two months of his salary was docked for misleading defence and Dirco officials into authorising the landing of the Gupta plane, which carried 217 wedding guests.

While the department of international relations would not comment on Koloane’s demotion, spokesperson Clayson Monyela told City Press it had yet to receive a formal complaint from the department of defence against Koloane.

Monyela was responding on a recommendation by a board of inquiry that the department of defence lodge a formal complaint with Dirco over Koloane’s conduct in the Guptagate saga.

The recommendation was made last month when the board of inquiry concluded its initial probe into the landing. It recommended that five defence and air force officials be charged with abuse of state resources, while other senior generals face disciplinary action and must account for their actions.

“We have not received any complaint from defence,” was all Monyela was prepared to say regarding Koloane.

Monyela would not comment on the position Koloane holds and said the matter was between the employer and the employee.

City Press also understands that Koloane, who returned to work after a two-month suspension, still earns the salary of deputy director-general despite the demotion. But this could not be verified with the department.

The department of defence said it was not privy to the recommendations of the board.

Sonwabo Mbananga, spokesperson for Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, said the ministry could not comment on the board’s findings as its recommendations were before the military court where five defence officers are facing allegations of abuse of state resources related to the landing.

Defence head of communications Siphiwe Dlamini said they were not “privy” to the contents of the board’s report and could not comment on the recommendations by the board that the department of defence lodge a complaint with Dirco.

Dlamini said he would check with the defence’s legal department to find out about the recommendations made in the report before commenting on the matter.

Contacted for comment, Koloane said: “I am not speaking to the media.”

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