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Johannesburg - Seven helicopters carrying Gupta family wedding guests were authorised to fly from Waterfkloof Air Force Base to Pilanesberg to meet President Jacob Zuma, City Press newspaper reported on Sunday.
This is contained in a report by the military tribunal which conducted a preliminary investigation into the landing of a private aircraft at the base in April, according to the report.
The tribunal is investigating five SA National Defence Force (SANDF) members in connection with the landing.
The discussion about the helicopters was contained in a declassified e-mail sent by Brigadier General Les Lombard, the air force command post commanding officer, to air force chief Lt-Gen Fabian Msimang.
Lombard wrote in the e-mail, dated May 1, 2013, that he urgently needed guidance on whether “further flights by civilian helicopter from AFB Waterkloof to Pilanesberg, where the delegation is to meet No 1, was approved based on initial interactions” with then state protocal chief Bruce Koloane.
Beeld reported on Thursday that two of the five SANDF members implicated Zuma in sworn affidavits. An excerpt from Lt-Col Christine Anderson's statement reads: “On or about 17 April 2013, Mr (Bruce) Koloane phoned me and he informed me that he had returned from the president and that the president wanted to know 'if everything is still on track for the flight'.”
Koloane has since been demoted. According to a justice department report he and other senior officials acted alone.
Anderson confirmed that Zuma was referred to as “number one” for security reasons. - Sapa