Waterkloof 'fall guy' Koloane attends state capture commission

2019-07-03 12:02
Judicial commission of inquiry into state capture (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images)

Judicial commission of inquiry into state capture (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images)

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Former chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane, who is now South Africa's ambassador to the Netherlands, has returned to South Africa to testify at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

The spotlight at the commission on Tuesday was on the controversial Waterkloof landing.

The commission heard that the Gupta family – which is at the centre of state capture allegations – landed a commercial aircraft at the Waterkloof air force base without permission. The aircraft carried about 200 guests who were invited to attend the family's lavish wedding at Sun City in 2013.

An investigation into the landing, by the justice, crime prevention, and security (JCPS) cluster in 2013, found high-profile officials, the Indian High Commission, Koloane and Lieutenant Colonel Christine Anderson responsible for the landing.

Charges were later dropped against Anderson, but Koloane pleaded guilty to the contravention of the military defence code. He was also accused of "name-dropping" former president Jacob Zuma to get permission.

The JCPS report lambasted the two for their roles.

'Grossly abused, undermined processes'

"The activities of Ambassador Koloane and Lieutenant Colonel Anderson were a serious dereliction of duty in that they were advancing the objectives of this project to the detriment of their official responsibilities."

It continued: "Their activities also indicate the bringing to bear of undue influence on state officials, systems, equipment and infrastructure … the roles of the two individuals had a similar effect in that due to their seniority and knowledge of departmental systems and processes in their respective areas, they both grossly abused and undermined these processes."

Koloane was later promoted to ambassador. He has now flown to South Africa to attend the commission along with his legal team.

He is expected to testify about what happened at the landing, tying up loose ends and unanswered questions.

Koloane is probably best placed to do so, having played an active role in the landing.

Former director general of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Nonkululeko Sindane, was expected to kick off testimony at the commission on Wednesday.

Sindane was part of the panel that exonerated Zuma from any responsibility in the landing.

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Read more on:    bruce koloane  |  gupta family  |  raymond zondo  |  johannesburg  |  state capture  |  corruption  |  state capture inquiry
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