Bruce Koloane resigns as ambassador after state capture testimony on Guptas' Waterkloof landing

Bruce Koloane, who was chief of state protocol at the time of the Guptas' plane landing at Waterkloof Air Force Base at the state capture inquiry. (File: Gallo Images)
Bruce Koloane, who was chief of state protocol at the time of the Guptas' plane landing at Waterkloof Air Force Base at the state capture inquiry. (File: Gallo Images)

South African ambassador to Netherlands Bruce Koloane has resigned after being recalled by the department of International Relations and Cooperation over his testimony at the state capture commission.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor made the announcement on Wednesday while answering questions in the National Assembly.

DA MP Darren Bergman asked Pandor whether her department intends to take any action against the Republic’s ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands for having made certain revelations at the state capture commission regarding his involvement in the landing of an aircraft at the Waterkloof Air force Base in 2013. 

READ: 'Ambassador Koloane's conscience must guide him to do the right thing'

To this, Pandor responded that "I have decided that it would be in the public interest to transfer Ambassador Koloane back to head office in Pretoria.

"A letter to this effect was sent to him on the 12 of August. In terms of the provisions of the law, we allowed the ambassador the opportunity to make representations as to why he should not be transferred back. 

"He responded, as is his right, in a letter at the end of July. After considering his representations I decided to transfer him back to head office on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so," said the Minister. 

She continued that "...the matters revealed in the inquiry he gave evidence at were of such a nature that I believe they brought our government and country into disrepute".

During his testimony at the state capture inquiry in July, Koloane 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.

ALSO READ: Waterkloof landing: 'I abused the powers of my office,' Koloane admits

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. 

A 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. 

Pandor continued that "he has one month notice in order to return to the country and should be back here by the middle of September.           

"Subsequent to that, he tendered his resignation from the department and will be resigning from service."

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