'Guptagate': Koloane in firing line

Reports indicate that the Chief of State Protocol could face criminal charges for the Gupta landing.

Guests arrive at the Waterkloof Air Force Base for the Gupta wedding. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Things aren't looking good for suspended Chief Of State Protocol Vusi Koloane who is in the firing line for the Gupta scandal.

Directors-Generals (DGs) from several departments who were allegedly involved in the saga spent Wednesday night locked in a tense meeting to discuss a preliminary report handed in by the justice cluster on the controversial landing at Waterkloof Air Force Base.

Eyewitness News uncovered the controversial landing on 30 April where close to 200 wedding guests came to South Africa to attend a Gupta wedding at Sun City.

The controversy has been dubbed a political hot potato.

The Star Newspaper reported that Koloane could face criminal charges for his role in the illegal landing last month.

Investigators probing the scandal are trying to determine if he could have benefited personally in exchange for helping the Guptas bypass the Defence Minister's decision to deny them space at the airport.

Also under fire is the DG of International Relations Jerry Matjila, whose department was implicated because it failed to intervene.

Eyewitness News revealed earlier this week that while government said the landing of the aircraft was unauthorised, documents have emerged implicating senior officials within the Defence Ministry who gave the landing the green light.

Parliament's Justice Cluster which probed the involvement of the DGs said it would hold a press conference soon to announce the findings of the report.

'SA IS NO BANANA REPUBLIC'

State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele on Tuesday said government would not allow the country's resources to be used for private purposes.

The 'Guptagate' scandal loomed large during a debate on his department's budget in Parliament.

DA and COPE MPs argued the politically connected family posed a threat to national security by being allowed to misuse state resources.

But Cwele hit back by saying South Africa was not a banana republic.

"Opposition members shifted this debate to the Waterkloof incident and some of them said we are some form of banana republic where aircraft land at our air base without our knowledge. This is not true."