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Gupta Waterkloof landing: Bruce Koloane regrets name dropping

Former head of state protocol Bruce Koloane admitted to name-dropping at the state capture inquiry, but only after recorded phone calls were presented as evidence.

A screengrab of the former head of state protocol Bruce Koloane appearing at the Zondo Commission on 9 July 2019.

PRETORIA - Former head of state protocol Bruce Koloane said using former President Jacob Zuma’s name to put pressure on defence officials to authorise the Guptas’ landing a jet at the Waterkloof Airforce Base was a great error of judgment which he deeply regrets.

Koloane admitted to name-dropping at the state capture commission of inquiry on Tuesday, but only after recorded phone calls were presented as evidence.

• Koloane details disciplinary charges following Gupta landing

He pleaded guilty to internal disciplinary charges in 2013, which included abusing the then-president’s name but was subsequently appointed as South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands.

Koloane on Monday had great difficulty remembering whether he used politicians’ names in the Waterkloof saga and even questioned the accuracy of the statements from officials who said he did.

• ‘I wasn't given chance to address inaccuracies in Waterkloof report’

However, after being presented with telephone recordings, his memory was jolted.

“I erred [and] it was an error of judgement in wrongfully using the names of the minister of transport, the current minister of defence as well as the Presidency to try and exert pressure to the officials who were supposed to facilitate the processing of the flight clearance,” he said.

Koloane had insisted that he had not had contact with any of these politicians.

He also said he was too ashamed to face Zuma after he used his name to put pressure on defence force officials to authorise the Gupta’s privately chartered jet at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

Koloane said he never apologised to former President Jacob Zuma for abusing his name.

“I did not go back to him out of shame, because I was too ashamed to even face him understanding the gravity of what I’ve done or look at him in the eye and say I am sorry for what I have done, using his name to get the officials to process the application.”

But a year later, in 2014, it was Zuma who appointed Koloane as South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands where he currently holds the position.

Koloane claimed he was not in communication with the former president when he facilitated the unlawful Waterkloof landing.

WATCH: Bruce Koloane returns to Zondo Inquiry for second day

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