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Probe Guptas' power, says foundation

Staff at Sun City bid farewell to the bridal couple " Aakash Jahajgarhia and Vega Gupta (centre) " as they leave the Palace of the Lost City.

Staff at Sun City bid farewell to the bridal couple " Aakash Jahajgarhia and Vega Gupta (centre) " as they leave the Palace of the Lost City.

Published May 6, 2013

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 Johannesburg - The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has welcomed the government's investigation into why a jet chartered by the Gupta family was allowed to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base, a national key point.

“The investigation should reveal how a single family has come to wield such immense administrative and political influence in such a short space of time, which it so brazenly displays over and over again,” the foundation said in a statement on Monday.

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It also welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s statement that the incident should not negatively affect South Africa’s historic relationship with India.

The foundation is led by anti-apartheid activist and struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada.

It said the “lavish and extravagant” wedding ceremony was distasteful, as it flew in the face of widespread poverty, unemployment, and inequality in both South Africa and India.

“The tens of millions of rand spent (on the wedding) could better be used on the well-being of the poor and distressed in society.”

The jet landed at the military base on Tuesday. On board were 270 guests at the wedding of Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia, which was held at Sun City, in North West.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe announced on Friday that five high-ranking officials and military staff had been suspended over the unauthorised landing.

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A team of government directors general had been instructed to investigate and was expected to report back within a week, Radebe said. - Sapa

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