South Africa News

Zondo: Overwhelming probability that Jacob Zuma knew about Gupta plane at Waterkloof

In July 2019, former President Jacob Zuma took the stand at the state capture commission and insisted that he had no prior knowledge of the Guptas’ now infamous 2013 use of the Waterkloof military airbase.

But commission chair, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has made it clear in his fifth report that he was not buying what Zuma had been trying to sell.

In April 2013, a commercial aircraft carrying some 200 travellers who had flown in from India to attend a lavish Gupta wedding at Sun City was allowed to land at the base, which is ordinarily reserved for military and diplomatic flights.

During the commission’s public hearings, it heard evidence from a dozen witnesses on the scandal, including Zuma, who insisted he didn’t know where they were going to land, or even that there was going to be a landing that day.

But in the report, which was released on Wednesday night, Zondo found that this was “difficult to accept”.

In his report, Zondo found that given Zuma’s admittedly close relationship with the Guptas, the probability was overwhelming that the former president knew about the landing ahead of time and had no objections to it.

In fact, Zondo said that all indications were that he would have taken steps to have the landing of the private aircraft facilitated.

Then chief of state protocol, Bruce Koloane, who apparently told Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula’s adviser he was “under pressure from number one” to get the landing cleared that day, was found guilty of abusing diplomatic channels, among other charges, and suspended over his role in facilitating it.

At the commission, though, Koloane maintained that he had simply been “name-dropping”. But Zondo didn’t buy this either, finding that it was probable that he was indeed acting on the instructions of or at the request of Zuma.

In coming to this conclusion, he relied on claims made by former Gupta media editor, Rajesh Sundaram, in his book Indentured: Behind the scenes at Gupta TV that Atul Gupta had told him that those against whom action had been taken, would ultimately be reinstated and the fact that Koloane was subsequently appointed ambassador to the Netherlands.


In other news – Meet the children and wives of actor Brutus (Themba Ndaba) from The Queen

South African actor, Themba Ndaba is one of the most talented actors in South Africa right now and he is best known for his role as Brutus Khoza in Mzansi Magic’s The Queen where he stars alongside Connie Ferguson.

Themba Ndaba

The award-winning actor who turned 57 years old in February 2022 is a family man in real life. He has been married twice in real life, first to actress Sophie Ndaba with whom he has two children, Learn More

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