Johannesburg - Former Justice Department director-general Nonkululeko Sindane has told the state capture inquiry that Bruce Koloane abused the positions of former president Jacob Zuma and two of his ministers.
Sindane told the commission chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that Koloane, who is now South Africa’s ambassador to The Netherlands, abused Zuma’s name and those of Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and former transport minister Ben Martins to approve the landing of the Gupta flight.
Koloane was Chief of State Protocol when the Gupta family landed a chartered Jet Airways plane packed with wedding guests at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in April 2013.
According to Sindane, Mapisa-Nqakula’s special advisor Michael Ramagoma informed Koloane that she did not want anything to do with the flight.
She said they were using the power of Mapisa-Nqakula’s office to ensure that junior officials approve the landing.
Sindane described this as abusing the positions of power of Zuma, Mapisa-Nqakula and Martins.
“Something was amiss in this whole process. Permission would not have been granted if it was known that it was a pure wedding,” she said.
She added that the officials involved did more than what they were required to do to ensure that the landing occurred.
Koloane and Lieutenant-Colonel Christine Anderson, who was the movement control officer at Waterkloof, ignored many things they should have known, Sindane maintained.
She said Koloane made the reference to “Number 1”, when Martins clearly told the team investigating the landing “Number 1” did not instruct him.
“Number 1” is a reference to Zuma.
Sindane was part of the task team appointed to investigate the landing and included former acting State Security Agency director-general Dennis Dlomo, then correctional services national commissioner Tom Moyane and former acting Co-ordinator of Intelligence in the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee Dr Clinton Swemmer.