South Africa: Maite Nkoana-Mashabane Fumbles Explanation of How Waterkloof Fall-Guy Landed Top Job


It was one of the most suspicious features of the Gupta Waterkloof saga: the man who admitted responsibility for allowing the Guptas to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base was shortly thereafter given the post of SA Ambassador to The Hague. Former Dirco Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane was summoned to the Zondo Commission to explain -- and failed to convince.

Former Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane found out that the Gupta family had landed a private plane at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in 2013 from a television news bulletin.

Appearing before the Zondo commission on Thursday, Nkoana-Mashabane said she was not initially perturbed by the news, because Dirco would only be involved in such an event if a diplomatic guest was due.

What changed things was the revelation that the government's chief of state protocol, Bruce Koloane, had been present.

"From the outset, we wanted to understand who sent him to Waterkloof," Nkoana-Mashabane said.

"Koloane said: 'No, it had nothing to do with the department, he had not been sent, it was an oversight'. I said: 'I am not happy'. I then instructed the DG [director general] that he has to face a disciplinary process,...

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