Johannesburg - The diplomat who was turned into a fall guy in the Guptagate scandal has been rewarded with a diplomatic posting to a key European country.
Former chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane has landed a diplomatic posting in the Netherlands.
Koloane, who confirmed his appointment on Saturday, leaves the country next week.
He accepted blame for the illegal landing of a private chartered jet at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria. The plane was carrying guests to the wedding of a Gupta family member which was held at Sun City in April last year.
Koloane pleaded guilty in August last year for authorising the foreign jet to land at the country’s strategic Waterkloof base which caused an uproar.
Koloane was accused of misrepresenting facts to facilitate the illegal landing, and compromising the processes and procedures of the International Relations and Co-operation Department (Dirco), his employer.
The Sunday Tribune, the Sunday Independent’s sister paper, can today reveal Koloane from KwaZulu-Natal has been nominated as an ambassador to The Hague in Netherlands and that Dirco were now waiting for “his credentials to be accepted by the receiving country”.
Koloane held a private farewell party at his Sobantu home outside Pietermaritzburg last Saturday to bid farewell to his family and friends.
Before Koloane verified his appointment, Dirco spokesman Clayson Monyela would not confirm Koloane’s nomination.
“As is protocol, we never confirm nor disclose any nomination or appointment of the members of the diplomatic core, be it ambassadors, commissioners or consulates until they present their credentials to the receiving country. The same goes regarding the individual you are enquiring about, I cannot confirm this and I cannot deny it,” he said.
Koloane’s diplomatic appointment comes after he was demoted to liaison officer late last year.
The former mathematics and economics teacher is one of South Africa’s seasoned diplomats and has held ambassadorships in other countries. He began his career as a teacher with the Department of Education and Training.
Koloane was appointed deputy director-general in October 2011.
He holds a senior primary teaching diploma from the Indumiso College of Education in Pietermaritzburg, a BSocSc (Hons) degree from the then University of Natal and an Honours degree in Economics from the same university.
He also participated in the Department of Trade and Industry’s foreign economic representative programme from the University of Natal. Koloane served as South Africa’s ambassador to Spain between 2007 and 2010.
In 2003 he was appointed as the South African consul-general to Shanghai and then served as chargé d’affaires at the South African embassy in Beijing.
According to his CV on the government website, during this period, Koloane assisted in developing strategic political and economic government-to-government relations, engaging the Chinese government on China’s Africa policy, negotiating market access for South African goods, and branding and marketing South Africa as a world-class investment and tourist destination.
Koloane who was at another party last night confirmed that he “was going to the Netherlands” as an ambassador.
“Oh, where did you hear about that. Yes boet, it’s like that, I can confirm. Im going. I have been posted to the Netherlands,” he said before excusing himself.