GuptaGate press conference - as it happened

2013-05-03 10:19
Gupta plane

Gupta plane

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The landing of the Guptas private jet at Waterkloof airbase has sparked a huge outcry. Read what happened at the press conference on the furore.

11:55 - Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor says she did attend the Gupta wedding. "It is a wedding"

11:51 - Minister Collins Chabane closes media briefing.

11:51 - Defence Minister: There is nothing wrong with our colleagues attending the Gupta wedding. Maybe some are still there...

Defence Minister: All of us were invited to the wedding but I didn't attend. Jeff Radebe chips in and says he also didn't attend - Sibusiso Ngalwa

11:49 - Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says she was invited to the Gupta wedding but didn't attend. 

11:47 - Still doesn't seem any of the government officials officially point a finger at the Guptas - Craig Nieuwenhuizen

11:44 - Radebe says the president will be briefed but reiterates "no executive authority" gave the go ahead for GuptaGate to happen, tweets Hajra Omarjee.

11:44 - Question: Who is in charge of the country? Consider that it was the media who caught the Guptas at the base.

11:43 - Craig Nieuwenhuizen: The ministers taking questions on the gupta plane. Not all questions are answered fully.

Ministers at the Guptagate briefing (Twitter)

11:38 - Twitter has fun with Guptamovies - via Channel24.

11:33 - Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says she's not sure if Gupta plane was refueled at Waterkloof Air Force Base, tweets Louis Oelofse.

11:31 - Implication that GuptaGate investigation may end up claiming fees from family. But that's small change in wedding context; low millions, tweets Phillip de Wet

11:29 - Phiyega: Charges against officers mentioned relate to violation of Firearms Act, acting as security officers

11:28 - Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega now answering questions.

11:27 - Phillip de Wet: Though, let's be honest, there are easier ways to smuggle cigarettes or gold or weapons into SA than landing at Waterkloof. 

11:26 - Phillip de Wet: Best we can tell then, no measures have yet been put in place to avoid a GuptaGate repeat. That'll have to wait a week, at least.

11:23 - DIRCO Minister: Our actions in the wake of Guptagate shows that the system works. 

11:23 - Radebe: The Guptas did not get permission for this plane, they didn't follow proper processes.

11:23 - Radebe: The key question is what motivated these officials to allow this to happen without executive authority.

11:21 - Gupta guests are expected to pay duties related to customs declarations when they depart from OR Tambo Airport at approximately 14:00 on Friday - Sunday Times

11:16 - SARS: We asked Gupta guests to voluntarily declare what they bought into the country. We didn't search bags.

11:14 - SANDF officers suspended: Brigadier General L Lombard, Brigadier General TS Madumane and Lieutenant Colonel C Anderson. Police: Major General Gela - Karyn Maughan

11:12 - Hajra Omarjee: How is it possible, Guptas got so many illegal decisions taken from so many different state organs? What consequences for Guptas?

11:11 - Minister Pandor says "no apology" will be extended to South Africans because Indian delegation is in the country legally.

11:10 - SARS has issued customs declaration forms post-fact. We did not search their bags - Barry Bateman

11:09 - It is being investigated whether there was any breach of diplomatic protocols and courtesies.

11:06 - Minister Pandor: All the travellers are in the country legally - immigration handled them and there a full record.

11:05 - No landing fees or tariffs paid by the aircraft operator.

Five people suspended including Chief of State Protocol. 2 police officers and one police reservist arrested - Eleni Giokos

11:02 - Phillip de Wet: Total fallout on GuptaGate: 5 suspensions, 3 arrests. But so far, doesn't look like the Gupta family faces direct consequences.

11:00 - Media now doing questions.

10:59 - Radebe: the aircraft did not have the required foreign operators licence.

10:58 - Criminal case against security company that used blue lights illegally on non-police vehicles. - Alexandra Leisegang

10:58 - Radebe: the black vehicles escorting the delegation were not SAPS vehicles - civilian fitted with blue lights.

10:57 - And there's the first criminal accusation - false registration plates and use of blue light for private vehicles - Phillip de Wet

10:57 - Three air force commanders, one provincial police commander and one diplomatic staffers suspended. #GuptaGate With more to come, possibly. - Phillip de Wet

10:56 - Radebe: the police commissioner has been instructed to investigate irregularities.

10:55 - Radebe: several officials suspended - from International Relations, the air force and police.

10:54 - Radebe: Our govt has no record of the Note Verbal by the Indian High Commission requesting landing rights

10:53 - Radebe: the government has no record of an application from the Indian High Commission requesting landing permission.

10:53 - Radebe: Great concern was that the aircraft was carrying people who do not fit the profile of VIPs.

10:52 - Radebe: thanks us for being here to hear the address on unauthorised landing and security breach.

10:52 - Police commissioner Riah Phiyega is also attending, but she is sitting in the 'gallery' with journalist and govt officials - Mia Lindeque

10:51 - #GuptaGate reps from treasury and SARS are here. Justice Minister Jeff Radebe,.. Home affairs and defence arrive, says Barry Bateman

10:50 - #GuptaGate the ministers arrive - International Relations, Presidency.... Police commissioner, various DGs - Barry Bateman

10:47 - No, wait, security ministers are "seriously coming now". Not sure if that is now-now or just-now. But seriously.  - Phillip de Wet

10:45 - Apparently because the Gupta plane didn't have a "foreign operating licence", Jet Airways will have to pay a fine to the CAA before they depart, tweets Sibusiso Ngalwa.

10:43 - Xoli Mngambi: Just been told by a communications officials the Gupta briefing is delayed by another 10 minutes. **expresses sincere apologies**

10:40 - GuptaGate briefing should start soon. The room is quite cramped and stuffy, says Barry Bateman.

10:35 - Gupta briefing to start any minute now, senior government officials (DGs) already seated, tweets eNCA's Xoli Mngambi.

10:31 - Another GuptaGate question from Phillip de Wet: will there be any criminal or diplomatic action, to further push blame onto Indian mission in SA and Guptas?

10:30 - Things to watch in GuptaGate briefing: we understand there is pressure on defence [dept] to do a mea culpa. Will the minister bend, asks Phillip de Wet.

10:13 - CAA says the Gupta jet is in the country illegally, tweets eNCA's Hajra Omarjee.

10:09 - Large media contingent at the briefing in Pretoria.  

Journalists at the cluster ministers' meeting.

- The DA's David Maynier says: The flight plan and ATNS tapes will be crucial to any investigation into #GuptaGate!

10:03 - GuptaGate briefing will start at 10:30 - Barry Bateman

Read more on:    gupta wedding  |  gupta jet

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