Expose 'real' Gupta culprits, says Vavi

2013-05-03 20:55
Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. (Picture: Sapa)

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The real culprits behind the unauthorised landing of a Gupta family jet at Waterkloof Air Force Base must be exposed, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Friday.

"We must demand the fullest possible investigation into the whole incident...," Vavi said in a speech prepared for delivery at the national general council of the Public and Allied Workers' Union of SA in George, in the Western Cape.

The real culprits had to be exposed, not "scapegoats", who could not have taken such an "obviously politically sensitive decision", he said.

A jet chartered by the wealthy and politically-connected Gupta family landed at the Waterkloof Air Force Base - a national key-point - on Tuesday.

It was carrying guests to the wedding of Vega Gupta, 23, to Indian-born Aaskash Jahajgarhia at Sun City, North West.

The Gupta's own The New Age newspaper and Sahara Computers.

The jet was moved off the base on Thursday afternoon, amid widespread criticism by, among others, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), the African National Congress, the Democratic Alliance, the Inkatha Freedom Party, and the SA Communist Party.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe announced on Friday that five high ranking officials and military personnel had been suspended over the unauthorised landing.

They are: the Chief of State Protocol ambassador Bruce Koloane; SA Air Force (SAAF) command post Brigadier General L Lombard; Air Force Base Brigadier General TS Madumane; Movement Control Officer Lieutenant Col C Anderson; and Gauteng deputy provincial police commissioner Major General Phumza Gela.

Vavi said he struggled to find words to express his shock on hearing that the private wedding party was being allowed to land the private aircraft at the base, and was being given a police escort to Sun City.

He said Cosatu was waiting for an official explanation.

"Imagine if your union asked for permission to stage a picket even outside the Waterkloof base. I bet the response would be 'No. [It is a] national key point. Permission refused'," he said.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  vega gupta  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  johannesburg  |  gupta jet  |  gupta wedding

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