'Not enough evidence' over Gupta landing

2014-05-28 13:37
Guests arrive at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria for the wedding of Vega Gupta. (Barry Bateman, Twitter)

Guests arrive at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria for the wedding of Vega Gupta. (Barry Bateman, Twitter)

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Johannesburg - The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) denied media reports on Wednesday that there was a second investigation into the landing of the Gupta family's private aircraft at the Waterkloof Air Force Base, apparently because there was not enough evidence for a military court.

"It is not true," said SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga. "I don't know anything about that."

The Sowetan quoted Mabanga as saying an additional investigation was under way, and another was pending. However, Mabanga denied speaking to the Sowetan reporter.

According to the newspaper, he said: "The charges against one accused were withdrawn due to insufficient evidence. An application to consider charges against an additional accused was forwarded to the director of military prosecutions for consideration. The decision is pending."

Supplementary affidavits

Beeld reported that a search for more information about the plane's landing was under way, because there was not enough evidence for the military court.

The director of military prosecutions had reportedly asked for supplementary affidavits and information from the SA Air Force (SAAF) to strengthen the case against the only two remaining accused, Lieutenant-Colonels Christine Anderson and Stefan van Zyl.

The previous investigation against them and Warrant Officer Thabo Ntshisi had been dealt with and referred to military prosecutors for a decision on prosecution, and a trial date, which had not been set.

Beeld reported that Ntshisi became a State witness to strengthen the case after only a "watered-down" charge of violating an airforce instruction about private planes remained.

The two would have been charged with corruption, conspiracy, and fraud.

Compulsory leave

Their lawyer Jean Griessel said he had not been informed of new developments. They have been on compulsory leave for eight months.

A government investigation into the controversy exonerated Zuma and his ministers, and found the landing was the result of "collusion by officials".

In October, Colonel Nomsa Khumalo, Van Zyl, Anderson, and Ntshisi appeared in a military court at the Thaba Tshwane military base in Pretoria. They were charged but a trial date was not set.

It was not immediately clear what the outcome of the case against Khumalo was.



- SAPA
Read more on:    sandf  |  pretoria  |  gupta wedding
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