South Africa: The Riddle of Bruce Koloane, the Waterkloof Saga's Most Dependable Fall Guy

Photo: OPCW
Bruce Koloane, current Ambassador to the Netherlands (middle)

In order to survive the Zondo Commission, former chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane had to effectively throw his own reputation under the bus - painting himself as a pitiful character who name-dropped to get things done and threw his weight around to convince his diplomatic counterparts that he was more important than he really was. But the story just doesn't add up.

The confetti had barely been swept up from the Guptas' 2013 Sun City wedding when a fall guy emerged for the decision to let their guests land at the Waterkloof military air base. That was when the name "Bruce Koloane" first entered the headlines.

But Koloane was already a diplomatic big cheese: he'd gone from working as chargé d'affaires at the South African embassy in Beijing to serving as South Africa's ambassador to Spain, before returning home in 2010 to take up the job of chief of state protocol.

South Africa's ambassador to the UN, Jerry Matjila, told the Zondo Commission this week that Koloane was a diplomat of such excellence that even the Waterkloof saga could not be allowed to stain his colleague's record.

"When I understood the totality of who Koloane is," Matjila said, somewhat...

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