Gupta, Zuma mine illegal - report

2013-11-03 11:04
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: GCIS)

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Johannesburg -  A rogue mining operation linked to Duduzane Zuma, President Jacob Zuma’s son, and the Gupta family, has been operating illegally for the past three years and national government seems to have simply turned a blind eye.

According to the Sunday Times, the Mpumalanga company, Idwala Coal, has not only illegally diverted a public road but also a river. It has also been mining without a water license, destroyed a wetland and allegedly owes subcontractors millions of rands.

In documents sent to the department of environmental affairs Idwala Coal admits to breaking the law. They have applied for “rectification” - a request to continue mining despite breaking the law.

Questions have once again been raised over the Guptas' abilities to blatantly flout the law - especially as this latest revelation comes only a few days after three senior South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members appeared in court on charges relating to the landing of a private aircraft at the Waterkloof Air Force Base. The jet was carrying Gupta-wedding guests from India.

Watered down charges

The three SANDF members – Lieutenant Colonel Christo van Zyl, Lieutenant Colonel Christine Anderson, and Warrant Officer Thabo Ntshisi - appeared in the military court inside the Thaba Tshwane military base in Pretoria on Tuesday, SA National Defence Union (Sandu) national secretary Pikkie Greeff said.

Greeff is an advocate representing some members of the group.

Their trial date was yet to be set.

Greeff added that the charge sheet against the soldiers had been "substantially watered down".

This meant that the possibility of President Jacob Zuma giving evidence in the trial had been eliminated.

"The question of the president as a witness has been taken out of the loop now... the only issue at stake now is whether the soldiers contravened an order knowing this [Gupta plane] was a private aircraft. It [the charge sheet] represents a rather substantial watering down of the charges they initially appeared for.

Read more on:    duduzane zuma  |  jacob zuma  |  mining  |  gupta wedding

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