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Gupta Waterkloof landing damaged Air Force and SA's reputation - Msimang

The South African Air Force's Lieutenant-General Fabian Msimang told the Zondo commission of inquiry that the incident was a breach of national security and should have never happened.

FILE: Gupta family landing a privately chartered jet at the Waterkloof Air Force Base along with more than 200 wedding guests landing at the national key point to attend a lavish wedding, which was being held at the Sun City Resort in the North West province. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The chief of the South African Air Force Fabián Msimang said that the 2013 landing of a Gupta chartered flight at Waterkloof dealt a heavy blow to the image of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

Msimang told the Zondo commission of inquiry that the incident was a breach of national security and should never have happened.

He said that the Air Force has learnt its lesson and was overhauling its security system to prevent similar incidents from taking place.

Lieutenant-General Msimang told the inquiry that the landing of the Gupta chartered flight at Waterkloof in 2013 damaged the reputation of not only the Air Force but also the country.

“What happened is something that should never happen again... but we also need the support of men and women on the streets, the people that we defend, together with the police, to try and ensure that they’re safe.”

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was shocked that no one came forward to prevent this from happening.

“The incident happened that shouldn’t have happened that they would then say ‘forget about this defense force’, that’s not my impression.”

Msimang assured the commission that the Air Force has since put measures in place to tighten security and improve communication between departments.

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