Guptagate needs independent investigation – DA

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The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party slated the official report into the landing of the Gupta wedding party jet at Air Force Base Waterkloof as ‘whitewash’ and called for an independent investigation into the Guptagate saga.

The final report by the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster was deliberately and cynically withheld from the opposition ahead of the debate in Parliament, said David Maynier, Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans. He added that the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Jeff Radebe, did this to “disarm” the opposition in the snap debate on ‘Guptagate’.
“The release of the final report confirms that the scope of the investigation did not extend to the role played by President Jacob Zuma and members of his Cabinet. Moreover, the report suggests that the task team did not interview President Jacob Zuma or members of his Cabinet about their role in ‘Guptagate’,” Maynier said.
“The investigation report raises new question about the conduct of the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who received a call from Mr Atul Gupta, requesting landing rights to AFB Waterkloof. It is not clear that, in the first instance, the Minister turned down the request. In fact, it appears that the request may have been seriously considered by the Minister.
“The investigation report also raises new questions about the conduct of members of the Cabinet. Several cabinet members appear to have defied an instruction not to attend the wedding at Sun City. This includes the Minister of Home Affairs, Naledi Pandor, who ironically spoke in the debate on ‘Guptagate’ in Parliament.”

Maynier said he would write to Radebe and ask him to make available copies of the statements by the various witnesses. “This will provide us with an opportunity to properly evaluate the conclusions in the final report of the investigation,” he said.
“In the end, the final report of the investigation reinforces the need for an independent investigation to be conducted by the Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, into ‘Guptagate'”.

The full report can be accessed here.