Third military court appearance for Guptagate officers in October


Another brief chapter in the saga of “l’affaire Guptagate” has played itself out in the Thaba Tshwane Military Court with the next set down for October 2.

Four SA National Defence Force (SANDF) members – Colonel Nomsa Khumalo, Colonel Christo van Zyl, Lieutenant Colonel Christine Anderson and Warrant Officer Thabo Ntshisi – appeared before the Court, in the western wing of the Thaba Tshwane town hall, with a fifth, identified only as a Colonel Nkosi, apparently still to appear.

All have been charged with contravening different sections of the Military Disciplinary Code. These include, but were not specified as, disobeying written orders or instructions, conduct prejudicial to military discipline and the abuse or misuse of state vehicles, aircraft or facilities.

Their appearance relates to the apparently unauthorised landing of an Airbus A330 at AFB Waterkloof on April 30 carrying guests bound for a Gupta family wedding at Sun City.

This was the second appearance in the Military Court following the completion of a full SANDF board of enquiry headed by Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi. The board was convened by the military to investigate the apparent involvement of military personnel, including Air Force Command Post commander Brigadier General Les Lombard and AFR Waterkloof base commander Brigadier General TS Madumane in the landing.

At the time of publication enquiries regarding the current status of these two senior officers had not been responded to by the SANDF’s corporate communications directorate.

Defence Web has reliably established AFB Waterkloof is still off-limits to Madumane. The one-star general will apparently be moved from the Centurion air force base to another post in SAAF headquarters next year.

A government investigation, head by a task team of director generals exonerated President Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet Ministers finding the Waterkloof landing the result of collusion by officials.