Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
21 Nov 2019
11:46 am

Nkoana-Mashabane tells Zondo she learned of Gupta Waterkloof landing on TV

Makhosandile Zulu

The then minister of international relations says once she learned about the landing she contacted the director-general at Dirco.

Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has 'failed to secure the budget to combat gender-based violence'. Picture: Gallo Images

Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on Thursday told the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, she learned of the Gupta family’s April 30, 2013 aeroplane landing at Waterkloof Air Force Base on Television.

Nkoana-Mashabane was the minister of international relations at the time.

She said that when she learned of the landing, she contacted the then director-general in the department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco), Jerry Matjila.

The minister said initially she was not “perturbed” by the news of the landing because Dirco was not involved in other landings but would be when diplomatic personnel were arriving in the country.

Nkoana-Mashabane said when she learned that the then head of state protocol, former Ambassador Bruce Koloane, was in the area at the time of the landing, she sought clarity on this by calling Koloane, Matjila, and the head of the department’s human resources at the time “to understand what this was about”.

Nkoana-Mashabane told Zondo that from the outset she wanted to understand who sent Koloane to Waterkloof and that the former ambassador had said he was there on an oversight visit.

The minister said she was not happy with this and instructed Matjila that Koloane should undergo a disciplinary process, “which ensued”.

Nkoana-Mashabane said that at the disciplinary hearing, Koloane owned up but did not say “how did he [got] to do this”.

The hearing resulted in Koloane being sanctioned and punished, the minister said.

However, she told the commission that she did not want to get too involved in the process because it was not her responsibility to handle administrative matters.

Nkoana-Mashabane told Zondo that she only heard at a later stage that Koloane had name-dropped the then president Jacob Zuma to hoodwink officials into allowing the Gupta wedding plane to land at the airbase.

During his testimony at the commission in July, Koloane admitted to name-dropping Zuma.

Nkoana-Mashabane said after the outcome of the disciplinary hearing she immediately removed Koloane from his position and that after he had served his suspension he returned to work but sat in the director-general’s office doing manual work that the director could have done. She added that during this time, Koloane showed “contrition”.

“He never went back to where he was serving before as it was suggested in the conclusion of the disciplinary hearing,” said Nkoana-Mashabane.

The minister’s testimony continues, watch live courtesy of the SABC:

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