Gupta landing permission sent to depts

2013-05-08 08:42
Guests arrive at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria for the wedding of Vega Gupta. (File, Beeld)

Guests arrive at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria for the wedding of Vega Gupta. (File, Beeld)

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Gupta plane breached aviation laws

2013-05-08 07:49

Watch this interview to see how the Gupta plane breached several aviation laws and caused delays for aircraft waiting to take off and land at OR Tambo International. WATCH

Johannesburg - Copies of an SA Air Force document granting the Gupta jet permission to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base were sent to various departments weeks before, a report says on Wednesday.

The document was sent to the departments of home affairs and transport, and the SA Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa), The Times newspaper reported.

The document, titled "RSA 05 External Clearance" and dated 9 April, was also addressed to the SA National Defence Force chief of joint operations Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi.

It reportedly cited a clearance code for the jet to land at Waterkloof on 29 April and authorised the jet to refuel at the base.

The jet arrived in the country last Tuesday. On board were more than 200 guests for a Gupta family wedding being held at Sun City, in North West.

Last week, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the department had not granted permission for the landing and ordered the aircraft removed from the military base.

The Sacaa fined the jet R80 000, spokesperson Phindiwe Gwebu told the newspaper, and said it would explain its role to government investigators.

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

The Times reported that the permission document was signed by Lieutenant Colonel SJ van Zyl. He was not one of the people suspended.

Defence department spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini told the newspaper the air force had admitted that flight clearance was granted and wanted to know how it had happened.

"How does a lieutenant colonel sign a letter that goes to the joint operations? It's unheard of," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    sacaa  |  jeff radebe  |  nosiviwe mapisa-nqakula  |  atul gupta  |  gupta wedding
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