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Guptagate: 3 officials charged

Pikkie Greeff says the charge excludes the role of Jacob Zuma and Bruce Koloane.

The Gupta jet seen leaving Waterkloof Air Force Base on Thursday 2 May 2013. Picture: Paul Treleven.

JOHANNESBURG - A total of three Air Force officials have now been officially charged with contravening an instruction by allowing a private plane to land at the Waterkloof Air Force Base without permission.

This single charge has been described as being watered down so as to purposefully distance President Jacob Zuma, , who was alleged to have been personally aware of the arrangements, from the Guptagate debacle.

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

Defence attorney Pikkie Greeff says they will defend the case using an available paper trail showing the accused were never aware that the Gupta flight was a private charter.

"We'll offer the documents which shows that all the times and status of the flight were determined by the Department of International Relations and Co-operation which is protocol. The documents show it's an official flight."

Greeff says the charge effectively excludes Zuma and chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane from playing a part in the debacle.

A trial date is yet to be set.

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