Thursday, July 11, 2019

Koloane “name dropped” to speed up Gupta’s AFB Waterkloof flight clearance

The final day of submissions into the Gupta touchdown at Air Force Base (AFB) Waterkloof six years ago at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry produced a surprising turnaround with a former head of state protocol admitting he “name dropped” to speed up flight clearance requests to the base.
Bruce Koloane, currently South Africa’s ambassador to The Netherlands, continued testimony to Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, having been on the stand the previous day. After listening to recordings of telephone conservations ahead of the Jet Airways flight, carrying a Gupta wedding party, he made what media have termed a ”startling turnaround”.
He testified that “having listened also to the recording, I would like to admit that indeed I did what has now become popularly known as name-dropping and used those sentences merely to push officials, who were supposed to process the flight clearance, to do their job and do the processing”.
City Press reports him admitting it was abuse of his portfolio (at the Department of International Relations and Co-operation [DIRCO]) to allow the Guptas to land at the military air base in Centurion.
When Koloane was asked by the Commission chairman to respond to allegations set out by the DIRCO disciplinary committee he faced a month after the April 2013 landing, he pleaded guilty to charges relating to abuse of power in helping to facilitate the landing.
10/07/19 defenceWeb
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