SANDU calls for inquiry into Gupta saga

2013-05-04 11:28
(@MaridaFitz, Twitter)

(@MaridaFitz, Twitter)

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Johannesburg - An independent commission of inquiry must be established to investigate the Gupta jet saga, the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) said on Saturday.

"Sandu believes that the only way to deal wih this matter is an independent commission of inquiry... without fear, favour or prejudice," said the union's national secretary Pikkie Greeff in a statement on Saturday.

He said the commission should include judicial, aviation and military security experts.

Sandu said the objectivity of investigations so far was questionable, as one suspended officer did not have executive or authorisation powers.

"The sole duties of the officer in question, has absolutely nothing to do with authorisation of any form of air traffic movement whatsoever...," said Greef.

"Her main function consists at the base of facilitating the directing of embarking and disembarking of passengers and crew to the designated areas within the base."

Greef said the officer did this under the orders of higher command structures.

"She has no executive powers of any nature," he said.

"Clearly the so called investigations currently underway are sloppy and intent on identifying lower level employees as scapegoats for an embarrassing fiasco that could only have been orchestrated and arranged at very senior levels in government."

Greef added that the officer had learnt of her suspension through the media and was not formally informed.

Gupta wedding

The civilian 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.

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

The suspended officials were:  Chief of state protocol: Ambassador Bruce Koloane; officer commanding air force command post: Brigadier General L Lombard; officer commanding air force base: Brigadier General TS Madumane; movement control officer: Lieutenant Colonel C Anderson; and - SA Police Service operational response services Gauteng province: Major General Phumza Gela.

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Read more on:    sandu  |  pikkie greeff  |  vega gupta  |  jeff radebe  |  johannesburg  |  gupta wedding  |  gupta jet
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