Johannesburg, the government investigation concluded within seven days by selected director-generals, issued a thirty-page report to cabinet this week. The inquiry into the controversial landing and escorting of the Gupta guests and family to Sun City, established exploitation of the name the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma and senior cabinet ministers names for the sole purpose of securing special privileges.
The release of this report confirmed that 194 government personnel were involved in the engagements of the Gupta wedding. The report expressed manipulation and the deceptive methods used to secure the irregular clearance for the landing of the Gupta airplane, by the Gupta Family and members of the Indian High Commission.
Clearly, the correct procedures were not followed after the defence minister dismissed the request by the Guptas to use Waterkloof in March. The Gupta family approached the High Commission, and the report confirmed the process between diplomats and the department of international relations did not follow protocol. Not informing the national police commissioner of this action raised a concern in the report.
In conclusion, the report stated that numerous government employees had raised questions regarding these events but the more senior officials ignored their concerns. The report verifies the serious negligence of both Koloane and Waterkloof’s officer commanding movement control Lt-Col Christine Anderson through the abusive activities and excessive authority they had on state officials and systems.
This followed a heated debate in parliament where the opposition parties, maintain the report had been ‘whitewashed’, and insisted the root cause of this disruptive behaviour was none other than our president. Democratic Alliance defence spokesperson David Maynier insisted that the Defence Minister Mapisa Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula be fired for failing to inform senior officials regarding to this debacle. He added, the president had created “the culture of undue influence” from certain friendships he enjoyed, and the government probe into this Gupta affair infuriated even members of the ruling party.
Maynier, amusingly referring to the Justice Minister Jeff Radebe’s comment of no cabinet minister knowing of Gupta plans. He stated it was highly unlikely that nobody knew about this affair with more than 194 state employees, an aircraft, helicopters, and vehicles used at Waterkloof Air Base.
The leader of Cope Mosiuoa Lekoto echoed these sentiments. United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa admitted it was the first time abuse had come to light but the use of the Waterkloof airbase by the Guptas was not the first time.
The attack on the ruling party and President Zuma was fiercely rejected by the ANC MPs as conniving electioneering tactics.
Bravely disclosed by the public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Redebe of releasing the report to the public in a bid to bring suitable closure to this investigation and confirm the transparency of the ruling party. Mandonsela must still agree for the DA to launch an investigation into this matter.
The home affairs minister Naledi Pandor admitted the opposition were consumed by hatred of President Jacob Zuma and were not objective. She stated, “If the report does not find Zuma guilty, they are unable to accept it.”
There was an agreement that the report had negative findings and highlighted the manner in which public servants performed their duties.
After the parliamentary debate, President Zuma issued a statement and said how unfortunate that some officials and members of the public resort to the abuse and use of name-dropping of cabinet members for selfish gain. He urged law enforcement agencies to investigate matters of this nature and not to succumb to this pressure.
Written by Laura Oneale