More Guptagate details emerge

A board of inquiry is investigating the Guptagate saga.

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

PRETORIA - It's emerged that the VIP red carpet reserved for state presidents and their deputies was rolled out for the Gupta family's wedding guests when they made an unauthorised landing at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in April.

These details are contained in transcripts of evidence presented to the board of inquiry currently looking into the scandal.

They were revealed in an exposé by Beeld newspaper and included evidence under oath that President Jacob Zuma was personally aware of the landing.

In April, Eyewitness News revealed that a private jet chartered by the Gupta family carrying over 200 wedding guests landed at the Waterkloof Air Force Base without following normal procedures.

An investigation by government recommended swift action against several officials in the defence force and the Department of International Relations who were found to have undermined procedures.

Interviews with several Waterkloof air force officials paint a picture of bewilderment and confusion at the sight of 200 Gupta wedding guests arriving to huge fanfare at the military facility.

According to the _Beeld _report, Movement Control Centre Commanding Officer Daisy Mdluli said she believed the President was en route to the base when the VIP red carpet was rolled out.

The report also said a key witness in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF)'s investigation into the saga claims Zuma met former Chief of State Protocal, Bruce Koloane, and asked whether everything was on track for the flight.

According to the report, Lieutenant Colonel Christine Anderson accuses Zuma of direct involvement in the scandal in an affidavit that forms part of the record of the military's investigation into the incident.

Security Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel YC Govender reportedly described how guests used cameras on the base and how personnel were prevented from entering the facility.

The initial probe began on Wednesday and will determine whether there's enough evidence against the military officials implicated.

An earlier investigation by the Department of Justice found Koloane had said at least three times that he was following the instructions of 'Number One'.

In the report, Anderson claims for the first time that 'Number One' refers to the President.

The hearing, which is taking place until tomorrow, will determine whether five officials will be prosecuted for the unauthorised landing.

At the same time, the presidency has declined to comment on reports that the President has been directly implicated in the so-called Guptagate scandal.

The Presidency's Mac Maharaj says the matter is sub judice and no comment will be provided.