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Everything is above board - Gupta family

The Guptas say it's common practice for VIP delegates to welcome guests at the air base.

The Gupta jet parked at the Waterkloof Air Force Base. Picture: Beeld.com.

PRETORIA - The Gupta family on Tuesday said they used the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria to fly in wedding guests because the Lanseria Airport could not accommodate the size of plane they chartered.

The Guptas, who are seen as having close ties with President Jacob Zuma, said use of the military base was above board and done with the full permission from relevant authorities.

The chartered jet arrived on Tuesday morning, carrying guests for a wedding at Sun City which will start on Wednesday.

Police flying squad and VIP protection unit vehicles escorted the delegation from the airport and along the highway to the resort.

The Gupta family's spokesperson Haranath Ghosh said permission to use the air force base was applied for and granted by the Indian High Commission.

Ghosh said this was common practice between countries receiving officials from another state, adding that all suitable protocol was used to receive and transport the foreign ministers to the wedding.

Eyewitness News saw dozens of luxury vehicles escorted by police flying squad and VIP protection unit members.

Ghosh said Waterkloof was used because Lanseria Airport could not accommodate the size of aircraft chartered by the Guptas.

Eyewitness News is seeking clarity from the Indian High Commission, International Relations Department, the police and the South African National Defence Force on the matter.

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