Guptagate two to sue

2015-01-21 00:00

TEXT messages in which the name of President Jacob Zuma allegedly appears often will be made public if Lieutenant-Colonel Christine Anderson goes to court over Guptagate.

The Department of Defence ­yesterday formally withdrew all charges against Anderson and her Guptagate co-accused, Lieutenant-Colonel Stephan van Zyl.

Yesterday the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) said both officers have already provided instructions to the Sandu legal team to immediately institute civil lawsuits against all the state organs that were involved in ­implicating them.

Advocate Pikkie Greeff for Sandu said Anderson has proof of discussions between former head of state protocol Bruce Koloane and Zuma.

Greef said the evidence will show Koloane had acted as the agent of Zuma to facilitate the landing of the Guptas’ chartered jet at Waterkloof airforce base.

The evidence include text ­messages from Koloane to Anderson in which he allegedly repeats orders from Zuma.

During his disciplinary hearing, Koloane said he had lied when he said “Number One” had ordered the Gupta landing. He has meanwhile been appointed by Zuma as South Africa’s ambassador in the Netherlands.

Greef said they will weigh their ­civil claim for damages with all the evidence that they have held back to date. “If anyone wants to oppose us, we will wash all the dirty laundry of this saga in court. There is even more evidence of corruption than what is already known,” Greeff said.

The Freedom Front Plus said the Gupta family should foot the pair’s legal costs.

“The Guptas should pay all legal fees and further civil claims following the decision of the Defence Force to drop all charges relating to the illegal landing of the Gupta guests at Waterkloof in 2013,” said spokesperson ­Pieter Groenewald in a statement.

“The withdrawal of charges is proof that the Defence Force accused innocent officers to protect the real culprits and to cover up President [Jacob] Zuma’s true involvement.”

Anderson yesterday told sister ­paper Beeld she is glad to be able to continue her life and will now enjoy her retirement.

Sanwo attorney Jean Griessel, for Anderson, said Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency and former Justice minister, had named Koloane and Anderson as scapegoats and accused them of conspiring on Guptagate.

“Christine was not even ­interviewed during the preliminary investigation before she was accused in public,” Griessel said.

He said Anderson was suspended and Van Zyl placed on leave even before the investigation was ordered. They were eventually charged with a very weak case, then left in limbo for 18 months, until yesterday’s sudden announcement.

Griessel said no one has ­apologised to the pair in public despite their characters and good names having been slandered. He said he will send notices to the relevant departments that they will be sued for libel during the week.

Zuma’s spokesperson Mac ­Maharaj could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Defence spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said the department awaits a report from the Director of ­Military Prosecutions before commenting.

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