Guptagate proceedings to continue in Military Court next week


Only one of the original three SA Air Force (SAAF) officers put on “special leave” following Guptagate is facing charges in connection with the unauthorised landing of a civilian aircraft at AFB Waterkloof.

“The Director: Military Prosecutions did not institute military prosecution against Brigadier General Les Lombard (Officer Commanding the Air Command Post) and Brigadier General TS Madumane (Officer Commanding AFB Waterkloof) based on the findings and recommendations of the board of enquiry,” SA National Defence Force (SANDF) director: corporate communications Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said.

The two one star generals along with Waterkloof movements control officer Lieutenant Colonel Christine Anderson; a major general in the SA Police Gauteng Operational Response Services and Department of International Relations and Co-operation Chief of State protocol Ambassador Bruce Koloane were the first to be “fingered” for the unauthorised landing of a chartered Airbus A330 at the Centurion air force base. The aircraft was bringing Indian guests to South Africa for a Gupta family wedding at Sun City at the end of April.

The SANDF’s own investigation saw a board of enquiry, chaired by Joint Operations Chief Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi, instituted. This board found there was no need for military prosecutions to be instituted against Lombard and Madumane. Anderson along with four other SAAF officers and non-commissioned officers were charged have made at least one appearance before the Military Court with a third sitting of the court, in the western wing of the Thaba Tshwane town hall, set down for next Wednesday.

They all face charges in terms of sections of the Military disciplinary Code relating to, but not specified as, disobeying written orders or instructions, conduct prejudicial to military discipline and the abuse of misuse of state vehicles, aircraft or facilities.