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'Guptagate': SA/India relations not strained

Government insists the Gupta saga has not affected relations between SA and India.

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

JOHANNESBURG - International Relations insists the Indian government has not requested a diplomatic apology following the Gupta jet debacle.

The _Sunday Independent _on Sunday reported that President Jacob Zuma should expect an angry reception when he visits India in two weeks' time.

Fingers have been pointed at Indian High Commissioner Virendra Gupta for the role he apparently played in the saga.

However, International Relation's Clayson Monyela said the relationship between the two countries was not under strain.

"The relations between India and South Africa are historic. They are friendly, strong and solid ... There are no tensions between the two countries."

Eyewitness News broke the story on 30 April when around 200 Gupta weddings guests made a controversial landing at Waterkloof Air Force base in Pretoria.

The plane was ordered to leave the base and depart from OR Tambo International Airport two days later.

The wealthy family is said to have close ties with President Jacob Zuma.

On Sunday, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe released the findings of a government investigation into the debacle.

The report showed that the Gupta family used Zuma's name to get permission to land at the base.

Radebe said the clearance for the landing of the aircraft was "based on false information and abuse of privileges, the combination of which resulted in the manipulation of the process by various persons who shared a common purpose and acted in concert."

A full report into the matter would be released later this week.

Meanwhile, the ANC has welcomed the outcome of the investigation into the unauthorised landing of a private jet chartered by the Gupta family at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

The ruling party's National Executive Committee met over the weekend to discuss various issues, one them being the Gupta saga, which has now taken centre stage at a briefing in Johannesburg.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says the findings of the investigation provide clarity and details of what happened and will guide a parliamentary discussion due to take place on Wednesday.

However, the ANC has indicated that Zuma will not attend the debate as he is not an MP.

It was revealed on Sunday that the names of senior cabinet officials and that of President Zuma were used to ensure the red carpet was rolled out for the Gupta wedding delegation.

Mantashe says name dropping is a common practice and will continue unchallenged unless people are caught out.

He says people with money can buy anyone and anything and this perception must be changed.

Opposition parties and the Congress of the South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) have condemned the landing of a privately chartered jet.

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