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Nkoana-Mashabane defends Koloane deployment to Netherlands after Gupta landing

Bruce Koloane admitted to allowing the Gutpa family to illegally land their private jet at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in 2013.

A screengrab of Minister of Women Maite Nkoana-Mashabane appearing at the Zondo commission of inquiry on 21 November 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - Minister of Women and Children Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said the former chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane was remorseful for abusing his powers and breaching national security.

Koloane admitted to allowing the Gutpa family to illegally land their private jet at the Waterkloof Airforce base in 2013.

Nkoana-Mashaba, who was International Relations Minister at the time, testified at the state capture commission on Thursday.

She defended her decision for recommending Koloane as an ambassador to the Netherlands.

After the incident, Koloane was sanctioned with a two-month suspension without pay and a final written warning.

Nkoana-Mashabane admitted that Koloane’s abuse of power and breach of national security was a problem.

“He erred by putting himself where he shouldn’t have and by putting the state in a precarious position.”

While the charges were serious, the minister did not think they were serious enough to bar Koloane from being deployed as an ambassador to the Netherlands. In fact, she suggested government must learn from this situation.

“The person confessed and showed remorse. We need that. How many people are we rehabilitating in our criminal justice system where we can say they’ve been rehabilitated and changed?”

While Koloane was recalled as ambassador a few months after admitting that he acted illegally, the minister suggested he was representing South Africa diligently in the Netherlands.