The Office of the Public Protector is going to investigate SA Air Force (SAAF) Lieutenant Colonel Christine Anderson’s involvement in Guptagate.
According to Afrikaans daily Beeld, all parties involved in the unauthorised landing at AFB Waterkloof of a privately chartered jet ferrying passengers from India to South Africa for a Gupta family wedding on April 30 last year can be summonsed to appear before a hearing to be chaired by an as yet unnamed official from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s office.
Anderson, via her legal representatives at Sandu (SA National Defence Union), indicated last month she would be initiating a libel action against former Justice Minister Jeff Radebe. The Public Protector hearing will provide further information for this action as well as for her claim of malicious prosecution against her employer, the SA National Defence Force.
The paper reports that the hearing will not have the status of a court hearing and that cross examination will also not be allowed. All interested parties can attend but it will not be open to the public or the media.
All those involved can, however, ask questions. At the conclusion of the hearing the chairman will make his or her findings known and will also make recommendations.
Anderson appealed to Madonsela’s office for assistance following a media conference where Radebe is alleged to have said she and Bruce Koloane, previously head of protocol at the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO), were involved in a conspiracy to commit a crime.
Expectations are the Public Protector hearing will be completed before any announcement is made regarding the possible prosecution of Anderson and the only remaining accused in the Guptagate case, Lieutenant Colonel Stefan van Zyl.
Beeld reports the head of military prosecutions has recently twice asked for further statements and information from the SAAF “apparently in an effort to strengthen the case against Anderson and Van Zyl”.
Late last month Anderson’s lawyer, Jean Griessel, said he had received no notification of what will happen to the matter going forward.
“As far as we are concerned, there is no case against them. The preliminary investigation has been completed and a charge sheet drawn up. We have yet to be notified of any changes,” he said.