Gupta saga: Sandu unfazed by latest development

Sandu says the decision by a third accused to turn state witness will not affect their case.

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

PRETORIA - Lawyers for the two air force officials who face a military prosecution for the so-called Guptagate saga say the decision by a third accused to turn state witness will not affect their case.

It emerged on Friday that warrant officer Thabo Ntshishi would now testify against lieutenant colonels Christine Anderson and Christo van Zyl.

The pair is accused of contravening numerous codes of conduct which led to the unauthorised landing of a jet chartered by the Gupta family at Waterkloof Air Force Base.

The South African National Defence Union's Pikkie Greeff says Ntshishi's about turn will have little bearing on their case.

"We know the full range of what possible testimony he can give. We know that he has contradicted himself in his evidence previously."

Greeff says the matter is being stalled until after the elections.

"An outcome which acquits Anderson and van Zyl would rather be embarrassing to President Zuma."

The International Relations Department suspended chief of state protocol Bruce Kholwane for his involvement in the incident.

Last April, a chartered commercial aircraft, Jet Airways flight JAI 9900 from India, ferrying over 200 guests for the wedding of Vega Gupta and her Indian-born Aakash Jahajgarhia landed at the military base.

The passengers were later transported to Sun City's Palace of the Lost City in North West for the lavish wedding.

The landing sparked outcry throughout the country but Zuma, who is friends with the Guptas, denied any involvement.

A government investigation later exonerated Zuma and his ministers and found that the landing was the result of "collusion by officials."