Guptagate still dragging on


One of two SA Air Force (SAAF) officers still facing charges in connection with the landing of a private jet at AFB Waterkloof in April 2013 has retired but this has not stopped her wanting the matter finalised.

Lieutenant Colonels Christine Anderson and Stefan van Zyl, represented by the SA National Defence Union (Sandu), have sent a lawyer’s letter to the SA National Defence Force’s (SANDF) Legal Services Division. The letter, seen by Afrikaans daily Beeld, indicates an approach will be made to the High Court to speed up legal proceedings which have been spluttering on and off for 18 months.

The letter is another attempt to stir the military’s legal beagles into action after they indicated in October last year the issue would be given speedy attention.
“The delays have become unreasonable,” said Sandu’s Pikkie Greeff, adding it could be said to now be in contravention of both officer’s Constitutional rights to a speedy legal hearing.

The pair want the SANDF’s prosecution services to decide on prosecution or not within seven days. A final 30 day deadline has been given and if nothing is forthcoming then the High Court will be approached.

Beeld said Anderson retired last year leaving Van Zyl as the only serving member of the SANDF still facing possible legal action over the Guptagate incident that saw a privately owned jet land at the Centurion air force base with a passenger load destined for the Sun City marriage celebrations of a member of the politically connected Gupta family.
“Van Zyl’s air force career has for all practical reasons been at a total standstill for the past 18 months. He hasn’t been allowed to work or be selected for any sources aimed at promotion. He has been sitting at home,” Greeff said.

Bruce Koloane of the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) was also implicated in the incident and was subsequently demoted. Last year he was announced as South Africa’s next ambassador to The Netherlands.