Guptagate: Koloane's absence questioned

Bruce Koloane is one of only two witnesses who can refute allegations by Lt-Col Christine Anderson.

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

PRETORIA - Concerns have been raised on why former Chief of State Protocol, Bruce Koloane, wasn't called as a witness in the case against five air force officials who have been implicated in the so-called Guptagate saga.

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 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the Department of International Relations who were found to have undermined procedures.

The SANDF has accused the personnel of contravening numerous codes of conduct which ultimately led to the unauthorised landing of the Gupta's aircraft.

Koloane has already been found guilty of playing a major role in the saga.

Transcripts of evidence presented to the board of inquiry currently looking into the scandal that were revealed in an exposé by Beeld newspaper, included evidence under oath that President Jacob Zuma was personally aware of the landing.

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

The South African National Defence Union (SANDU)'s Pikkie Greef says the witnesses called by the state knew very little of what led to the unauthorised landing.

He said at the very least, he would've expected the state to call Koloane or someone from the Presidency on behalf of Zuma.

"They are the only two witnesses that can to a certain extent attempt to even refute Anderson's version, which until now stands uncontested and unrefuted."

Anderson has claimed in a sworn affidavit that Koloane told her he had a meeting with Zuma who had apparently asked whether everything was on track for the aircraft landing.

At the same time, the Presidency's Mac Maharaj has dismissed the allegations against the President as "pure hearsay".

"Any belief like that is just a belief as far as I am concerned. That's where the matter stands and we have put it on record that there is no substance to the allegations.

"In fact, the investigation conducted in May found no implication involving the President or any member of the executive. We are saying there is no truth to the allegations whatsoever."