Guptagate: AG to study findings of state investigations

2013-05-08 16:13

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Reports of government probes into the possible improper use of state resources around the Gupta wedding would be studied by Auditor-General (AG) Terence Nombembe, his office has said.

Spokesperson Africa Boso said today the AG would not conduct what he termed “a special investigation”.

“Various impacted government departments, including the department of defence, had already instituted their own internal investigations into the matter,” he said in a statement.

“(We) would study and report on the findings of these departmental investigations, if any, as part of our normal 2013-14 annual audit.”

Boso said this had been conveyed to Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard, who earlier said Nombembe had agreed to conduct a probe into the Gupta matter.

A chartered Gupta family jet carrying 270 wedding guests made an unauthorised landing at Air Force Base Waterkloof, a national key point, last Tuesday.

The jet was moved off the base on Thursday afternoon, amid widespread criticism.

The passengers were escorted to Sun City, in North West, to attend a lavish Gupta family wedding.

The politically connected Guptas own The New Age newspaper and Sahara Computers, along with several other businesses.

A committee of directors-general has been appointed to probe how the jet was allowed to land at the Pretoria air force base. They were given seven days to complete the investigation and report to Cabinet.

Kohler-Barnard asked Nombembe’s office to investigate whether any unauthorised, irregular or wasteful spending occurred as a result of the Guptas’ use of state resources.

The DA also wanted light shed on the chain of command for approval of the alleged expenditure and use of state resources.

Kohler-Barnard said that the AG’s undertaking was an indication that a full-scale parliamentary inquiry should be also be launched.

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