Waterkloof needs independent probe – DA

2013-05-23 13:40

An independent investigation into the clearance for a private plane to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base is needed, the Democratic Alliance has said.

The final justice, crime prevention, and security (JCPS) ministerial cluster report on the landing at Waterkloof reinforced the need for an independent investigation into “Guptagate”, DA spokesperson David Maynier said today in a statement.

“The report was deliberately and cynically withheld from the opposition ahead of the debate (on the issue) in Parliament (on Wednesday).”

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe did this to “disarm” the opposition in the snap debate on “Guptagate”, Maynier said.

“The release of the final report confirms that the scope of the investigation did not extend to the role played by President Jacob Zuma and members of his Cabinet.”

The full report on the April 29 landing was released yesterday just before the debate in the National Assembly.

A private jet chartered by the Gupta family landed at Waterkloof, carrying 270 guests for the wedding of Vega Gupta (23) and Indian-born Aakash Jahajgarhia at Sun City. The landing sparked widespread criticism.

Government then initiated a probe into the matter and a possible breach of diplomatic protocol.

Maynier said the report suggested the investigating team did not interview Zuma or Cabinet members regarding their role in the matter.

Also, it appeared several Cabinet members had defied an instruction not to attend the wedding at Sun City.

The investigation’s conclusions needed to be evaluated, said Maynier, who intended writing to Radebe to request copies of statements made to the team by witnesses.

“This will provide us with an opportunity to properly evaluate the conclusions in the final report of the investigation,” he said.

“In the end, the final report of the investigation reinforces the need for an independent investigation to be conducted by the Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela.”

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