Guptas chose Waterkloof for security, convenience – high commissioner

2013-05-03 08:23

Virendra Gupta, the Indian high commissioner, said special permission to land a chartered jet at Air Force Base Waterkloof was obtained for security reasons.

“We did apply for permission for the landing ... because there were several VIPs, senior political figures from India who were going to come on the flight,” Gupta told the SABC.

“And because of factors relating to security, it’s very paramount.”

He said there was a concern about security when senior political figures travelled abroad.

“For the stand point of convenience we applied for permission of landing the aircraft at Waterkloof following standard procedures.”

The SABC showed footage of guests at the wedding. President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, and former minister Essop Pahad were among the guests.

Pahad told the SABC he was at the wedding to have a good time.

Atul Gupta told the SABC he did not think his connection with Zuma had anything to do with landing the jet at the air force base.

“No plane in the world can be landed anywhere without permission,” he said.

Some were trying to create controversy for unknown reasons, he said.

The Gupta family chartered jet was moved from Waterkloof yesterday afternoon after widespread outrage about the private use of a military facility.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) said the plane flew to nearby commercial OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

The wealthy and politically-connected Gupta family landed wedding guests at Waterkloof on Tuesday morning.

News of the aircraft landing angered political parties and organisations including the ANC, DA, IFP, Cosatu, and the SA Communist Party.

The Gupta family yesterday bemoaned what it described as “negative reporting” around the wedding.

“It was planned as a destination wedding to tempt other Indian families to use South Africa as a venue, instead of going to Mauritius or Thailand,” the family said in a statement.

The family said it had not been directly involved in the Waterkloof incident, but had been assured by the Indian High Commission that proper processes were followed and agreements reached with the appropriate officials.

The department of international relations and the SA Revenue Service (Sars) said they would investigate how the jet was allowed to land at Waterkloof while the police have launched an internal probe.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.