Public Protector to question Gupta plane team

2014-06-05 14:40

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The task team that investigated the Gupta plane landing scandal will be subpoenaed to appear before a Public Protector hearing, Thuli Madonsela’s office has said.

“It will be an inquisitorial process where the members of the investigating task team and other parties will appear,” her spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said today.

The inquiry will be based on a complaint by Waterkloof Air Force Base official Lieutenant-Colonel Christine Anderson. The team had implicated her in its report.

The plane, chartered by the Gupta family and carrying 270 guests to a wedding at Sun City, landed at Waterkloof Air Force Base in April last year.

The report on the landing was released by the justice, crime prevention and security cluster of ministries in May last year.

It stated that collusion by officials had resulted in the irregular clearance for the plane to land.

It found that correct clearance procedures were followed, but were based on “false pretences, as a result of the manipulation of the process” by the Gupta family, individuals in the Indian High Commission, chief of state protocol ambassador Bruce Koloane, and Anderson.

Segalwe said the dates for the Public Protector’s hearing were being finalised. It would be closed to the public and the media.

Asked whether a report on the hearing would be made public, he said: “Any report issued by the Public Protector must be open to the public unless exceptional circumstances require that it be kept confidential.”

In October, four SA National Defence Force officials – Anderson, Colonel Nomsa Khumalo, Lieutenant-Colonel Christo van Zy, and Warrant Officer Thabo Ntshisi – appeared in a military court at the Thaba Tshwane military base in Pretoria over the scandal.

They were charged with contravening various sections of the military defence code.

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