Waterkloof report flawed - Sandu

2013-05-23 13:14
(Picture: Beeld)

(Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - Findings against a Waterkloof Air Force Base official in a report on the controversial landing of a privately chartered plane were defamatory, the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) said on Thursday.

National secretary Pikkie Greeff said the findings against Lieutenant Colonel Christine Anderson, the base's officer commanding movement control, were not objectively arrived at.

"It is pretty clear that claims are being made against [Anderson] which are nothing else than defamatory allegations," Greeff said.

He said the report's findings had been made even though Anderson was not formally involved in the investigation.

"How can you report to be conducting an investigation when the person you are making a finding about is not even involved in that investigation?"

Clearance procedures

The full report on the landing of the plane at the Waterkloof Air Force Base was released on Wednesday by the justice, crime prevention, and security (JCPS) cluster of ministries.

The report revealed that a collusion of officials resulted in the irregular clearance for the plane to land at the base.

It found the correct clearance procedures for landing were followed, but were based on "false pretences, as a result of the manipulation of the process" by the Gupta family, individuals in the Indian High Commission, chief of state protocol ambassador Bruce Koloane, and Anderson.

The JCPS found that the actions taken by Koloane and Anderson were a serious dereliction of duty.

Anderson was found to have inverted command and control and unduly influenced the processing of the clearance.

The report indicated that Anderson abused her rank when she called Sergeant Major Ntshisi at the Air Force Command Post on 9 April, to tell him to issue the clearance.

Greeff said the report presented selected findings.

"It boils down to a lynch mob gathering evidence and nit-picking whatever finding suits them," he said.

"It contradicts every principle of natural justice in our legal system."

Process 'flawed'

He said the report's findings could not be taken seriously as the process by which they were arrived at was flawed.

"Whatever the findings at this point may be, you cannot have a situation where certain people are being interviewed and others are being left out of the loop," Greeff said.

"The process is so materially and substantively flawed, the outcome cannot be taken seriously."

He said Anderson had served with the SA National Defence Force for over 25 years and was under a year away from her pension.

On 29 April, a plane chartered by the Gupta family, carrying 270 wedding guests, landed at Waterkloof.

Guests were attending the wedding of Vega Gupta, 23, and Indian-born Aakash Jahajgarhia at Sun City. The landing sparked widespread criticism.

The government then initiated a probe into the matter and a possible breach of diplomatic protocol.

Read more on:    sandu  |  gupta jet  |  gupta wedding

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