Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture will on Monday hear the testimonies of the former Chief of State Protocol, Ambassador Bruce Koloane and the current Chief of State Protocol, Ambassador Jerry Matjila.

On July 4, retired Lieutenant-General Derrick Mgwebi, now the Department of Military Veterans acting director-general, told the Zondo Commission, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that his board inquiry into the embarrassing incident found that security had been breached and the national key point compromised. 

According to the former SANDF chief of joint operations, after the Jet Airways Airbus had landed, the Gupta wedding guests, who were civilians, took pictures while waiting for civilian vehicles which came on to the base and were able to drive around.

He said that due to Waterkloof Air Force Base being a strategic military facility, civilians were not allowed to take pictures without proper authorisation.

Mgwebi presided over the board of inquiry investigating the Gupta plane landing after it was convened by SANDF chief General Solly Shoke soon after the incident.

Among its aims, Mgwebi said, was to find out whether there had been authority and clearance for the aircraft to land at Waterkloof, the individuals who might have violated prescripts and weaknesses in the system to be rectified.

Strangely, he continued, during the board’s probe it was established that CCTV cameras were not working, hence the Gupta guests’ movements were not monitored on the ground.

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“The relevant areas we were interested in were not in the system,” said Mgwebi, adding that his team was informed that CCTV cameras were being serviced and there was no back-up system.

Mgwebi said Major Thabo Ntshisi, who was a sergeant-major at the time and at the command post during the landing, had had no business discussing SANDF issues with a civilian, former chief of state protocol ambassador Bruce Koloane.

He said Ntshisi and Koloane had also discussed his employment outside the SANDF during their interactions.

Mgwebi also established that there had been no ministers scheduled to land with the Gupta plane and that Koloane had been fed misinformation.

Political Bureau and IOL