No new investigation into Guptagate – SANDF

2014-05-28 10:20

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The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has denied reports that a second investigation has been launched into the Gupta family’s landing of a private aircraft at Air Force Base Waterkloof last year.

“It is not true,” SANDF spokesperson Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga said today.

“I don’t know anything about that.”

He further denied speaking to the journalist who penned the article published in the Sowetan.

In the report, Mabanga is quoted as saying an additional investigation is under way, while another was pending.

“The charges against one accused were withdrawn due to insufficient evidence,” he was quoted as saying.

“An application to consider charges against an additional accused was forwarded to the director of military prosecutions for consideration. The decision is pending.”

A chartered commercial aircraft, Jet Airways flight JAI 9900 from India, ferrying more than 200 guests for the wedding of Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia, landed at the base in April last year.

The passengers were then transported, either by light aircraft, helicopter, or in police-escorted vehicles, to the ceremony at Sun City’s Palace of the Lost City in North West.

The landing sparked widespread criticism and several investigations were launched. President Jacob Zuma reportedly has close ties with the Gupta family.

A government investigation exonerated Zuma and his ministers, and found the landing was the result of “collusion by officials”.

In October, four SANDF officials – Colonel Nomsa Khumalo, Lieutenant-Colonel Christo van Zyl, Lieutenant-Colonel Christine Anderson and Warrant Officer Thabo Ntshisi – appeared in a military court at the Thaba Tshwane military base in Pretoria over the scandal.

They were charged with contravening different sections of the military defence code.

In October, a trial date had not been set down and it was to be decided by the military’s prosecuting authorities.

The SANDF was unable to provide a date. At the time, media were not allowed to enter the court.

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