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Ramatlhodi believes Zuma authorised landing of Gupta jet at Waterkloof Air Base

Former Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi says the landing of the private jet was a well-planned reception, which could not happen without a higher authority knowing.

FILE: Former Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodi. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Former Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi has directly implicated former President Jacob Zuma in the controversial landing of a private jet carrying Gupta wedding guests at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

Ramatlhodi testified at the state capture commission on Wednesday and confirmed his impression that Zuma authorised the landing.

In 2013, the private jet carrying 200 guests for the lavish wedding in Sun City, landed at the air force base, sparking a national uproar with some accusing the family of abusing state resources.

Ramatlhodi says the landing of the private jet at Waterkloof Air Force Base was a well-planned reception, which could not happen without a higher authority knowing.

So he believes Jacob Zuma authorised it.

“It could not happen without his knowledge,” Ramatlhodi said.

He says after the landing, he and other ANC leaders managed to convince Zuma not to attend the wedding.

“We said to him, Mr President, it is unacceptable that a private jet carrying a wedding party from another country lands at our air force base. So, don’t grace this thing by going to the wedding, in addition to what has already happened.”

Ramatlhodi says the controversial Waterkloof landing influenced his attitude towards the Guptas and he decided that stunt was “the last insult”.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)