Gupta jet: Protocol chief under pressure

Johannesburg - A report on the controversial landing of a privately chartered plane at Waterkloof Air Force Base revealed that chief of state protocol ambassador Bruce Koloane told other officials he was "under pressure".

"The ambassador stated that he was 'under pressure from number one' on the matter," the report stated, without naming "number one".

The report is the outcome of government-initiated probe into the landing of an aircraft chartered by the Gupta family at Waterkloof Air Force Base - a national key point - and a possible breach of diplomatic protocol. It was released on Wednesday.


According to the report, Koloane told the defence minister's political adviser Michael Ramagoma he was under pressure, when Ramagoma told him on 2 April that he was not in a position to say what progress had been made on a request to land.

The aircraft, which landed on 29 April, was carrying 270 guests to the wedding of Vega Gupta, 23, and Indian-born Aakash Jahajgarhia at Sun City, in North West.

In the report's conclusion, the justice, crime prevention, and security (JCPS) cluster said the widespread criticism of the landing would serve to support the fight against corruption.

"We believe that the unified public voice which condemned the incident, together with decisive government action, serves as a useful basis for the development of a partnership between our people and their government in the fight to combat crime and corruption in our country," it said.

"Notwithstanding the negative findings, the work of the investigating team has brought to light the way public servants... conscientiously and faithfully perform their duties and daily tasks, and whose work is a credit to the country that they serve."

It said the jet's landing at the air force base had brought to the fore serious issues which needed immediate attention.

These included the identified culture of undue influence, underpinned by poor ethical conduct and a lack of professionalism.

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