Protector sets sights on Gupta probe team

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The Jet Airways Airbus A330-200 that brought the Gupta family members and guests to Waterkloof Air Force Base. File picture: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg - The task team that investigated the Gupta plane landing scandal will be subpoenaed to appear before a Public Protector hearing, Thuli Madonsela's office said on Thursday.

“It will be an inquisitorial process, where the members of the investigating task team and other parties will appear,” her spokesman Oupa Segalwe said.

The inquiry would be based on a complaint lodged by Waterkloof Air Force Base official Lt-Col Christine Anderson. The team implicated her in its report.

The plane, chartered by the Gupta family and carrying 270 guests to a wedding at Sun City, landed at Waterkloof Air Force Base in April last year.

The report on the landing was released by the justice, crime prevention, and security cluster of ministries in May last year.

It stated that collusion by officials resulted in the irregular clearance for the plane to land.

It found that correct clearance procedures were followed, but were based on “false pretences, as a result of the manipulation of the process” by the Gupta family, individuals in the Indian High Commission, chief of state protocol ambassador Bruce Koloane, and Anderson.

Segalwe said the dates for the Public Protector's hearing were being finalised. It would be closed to the public and the media.

Asked whether a report on the hearing would be made public, he said: “Any report issued by the Public Protector must be open to the public, unless exceptional circumstances require that it be kept confidential.”

In October, four SA National Defence Force officials - Anderson, Colonel Nomsa Khumalo, Lt-Col Christo Van Zyl, and Warrant Officer Thabo Ntshisi - appeared in a military court at the Thaba Tshwane military base in Pretoria over the scandal.

They were charged with contravening various sections of the military defence code.

Sapa


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