Guptagate officer takes legal action

2015-01-25 12:35

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Cape Town - Attorneys representing Lieutenant-Colonel Stefan van Zyl, who was suspended over the Guptagate saga, has served the Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula, with court papers demanding his immediate reinstatement as an SA Air Force officer.

According to the Sunday Independent, this comes after charges against him were withdrawn without explanation on Tuesday. A letter was then sent to the minister on Thursday asking for van Zyl’s suspension to be lifted. Maphisa-Nqakula failed to respond to the letter.

In light of this, Van Zyl decided to proceed with legal action.

SA National Defence Union (Sandu) national secretary Pikkie Greef said on Friday that both suspended officers, Van Zyl and Lieutenant-Colonel Christine Anderson, who also had charges withdrawn against her on Tuesday, would proceed with a civil suit against all state organs that were involved in implicating them in the Guptagate saga.

Fraud and corruption

Greef said Van Zyl would sue for prejudice to career advancement after having been forced to spend two years at home.

As reported by News24 on Friday, they intend to cite SMSes mentioning Zuma to substantiate their claim that Bruce Koloane, who was at the time chief of state protocol, acted as the president's "agent".

Koloane was demoted and remains the only person against whom action has been taken over the landing.

A board of inquiry also confirmed last week that charges against another two of the officers implicated in the landing of a plane chartered by the Gupta family at Waterkloof Air Force Base in 2013 were dropped. These two officers, Colonel Nomsa Khumalo and Warrant Officer Thabo Ntshisi had been back at work for months.

They appeared before a board of inquiry and the charges against them were found to be baseless.

On Tuesday the military confirmed that charges of fraud and corruption against Lieutenant Colonel Christine Anderson and Lieutenant Colonel Stefan van Zyl had been withdrawn.

They were accused of breaches that allowed a plane carrying 200 guests attending the wedding of member of the influential Gupta family, to land at the air force base on 30 April 2013. The event caused a scandal that has haunted President Jacob Zuma.

Read more on:    sandu  |  jacob zuma  |  nosiviwe maphisa-nqakula  |  gupta wedding

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