Guptas: written orders

2013-05-24 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The airforce command post that approves all military flights issued written permission on April 9 for the Gupta wedding flight to land at Waterkloof airforce base.

 Lieutenant-Colonel Christine Anderson, one of the two people blamed for approving the irregular use of the base by the powerful family, was therefore following written orders, documents seen by sister paper Beeld prove.

Three faxes were sent, on April 9, April 23 and May 2, to authorise the Gupta landing.

The faxes were sent from the airforce command post to Waterkloof and were signed by Lieutenant-Colonel S.J. van Zyl, who signs outgoing orders. The airforce command post is not at the Waterkloof base.

According to the investigation into the authorisation of the flight that brought guests to the wedding of a Gupta daughter, which was made public on Wednesday, Van Zyl had the authority to approve landings at Waterkloof.

The report adds that Van Zyl issued the original order, RSA05 (fax one), on the grounds of “documentation received and discussions that were held this morning”.

It is not clear what documents he refers to or with whom the discussions were held.

However, it is known that the government’s investigation team, composed of several directors-general, did not hold any interviews with Van Zyl or his commanding officer, Brigadier-General Les Lombard.

There were also no interviews with Brigadier Sam Madumane, the commanding officer of the Waterkloof base.

The SA National Defence Union said yesterday that Anderson herself was also not interviewed (see story on page 5).

Nevertheless, the investigation determined that Anderson and the chief of state protocol, Bruce Koloane, collaborated to make the landing possible.

An official in the Justice Department, who declined to be identified, said last night that it is “not neccesary to conduct interviews with people if there is evidence against them”.

This person was also asked why the Guptas were not interviewed and replied that “the Guptas answered all questions through their lawyers”.

Through her lawyer, Jean Griesel, Anderson yesterday denied all allegations made against her in the official report.

Defence Department spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said last night the department could not comment on the government investigation. He said the department was conducting its own investigation into what happened.

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