Gupta Waterkloof landing: 'Ambassador Koloane's conscience must guide him to do the right thing'

2019-08-28 20:22
SA ambassador to the Netherlands, Bruce Koloane, who was chief of state protocol at the time of the Guptas' plane landing at Waterkloof Air Force Base. (Gallo Images)

SA ambassador to the Netherlands, Bruce Koloane, who was chief of state protocol at the time of the Guptas' plane landing at Waterkloof Air Force Base. (Gallo Images)

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Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Candith Mashego-Dlamini said on Thursday the department was waiting for the report by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo into allegations of state capture before dealing with controversial Ambassador Bruce Koloane.

Mashego-Dlamini added nothing stopped Koloane from doing the "right thing" right away, however.    

Koloane, who is currently the South African Ambassador to the Netherlands, testified at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture in July. During his testimony, he admitted that in his role as former chief of state protocol, he had abused the powers of his office in order to facilitate the Gupta Waterkloof landing in 2013, News24 reported.

He also admitted he had "name-dropped" to pressure officials to expedite the processing of the flight clearance request. Despite being censured for his role in the debacle, he was appointed to the cushy ambassadorial post by former president Jacob Zuma. 

News24 exposé in 2017 further revealed Koloane's close ties to the Guptas and that he was securing business deals for the brothers in the Netherlands. This is according to the #GuptaLeaks and a string of emails between Koloane, the Guptas and their associates.

DA MPL Carin Visser, in an oral reply session on Wednesday, asked the minister of international relations and cooperation [Naledi Pandor] whether any measures and/or checks were in place to ensure that all ambassadors and high commissioners had a clean record and had not been complicit in state capture. 

Pandor is currently with President Cyril Ramaphosa in Japan as part of a working visit, leaving her deputy to answer in her stead.

Mashego-Dlamini said: "Yes, Ambassador Koloane appeared at the Zondo commission on the issues of breaching security but the commission is still going on, we're still waiting for the outcome.

"We are looking forward for the ambassador himself to do the right thing, as it is required. So, we're just waiting there. We're waiting for the report of the commission as much as we will be waiting for his conscience to make sure that we take the right action."  

She was asked in a follow-up question if there were any other cases of alleged wrongdoing by ambassadors that warranted investigation.

To this, Mashego-Dlamini replied: "Well, allegations will always be allegations for everyone, but the department is trying its best to make sure that every cloud that is upon any other ambassador around the world, around the countries is sorted out and it is clarified. 

"But on this one, like I said we need to make sure we wait for the processes that are going on so we're also waiting for the processes but I still say that any human being with a conscious can take the right decision at the right time.'' 

News24 previously reported that Pandor said, ahead of her department's budget vote speech, that she intended to have a discussion with Ramaphosa about the suitability of Koloane's ambassadorship to the Netherlands in light of testimony at the inquiry.

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Read more on:    bruce koloane  |  naledi pandor  |  state capture
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