PRETORIA – Former head of state protocol Bruce Koloane has rejected an allegation that he instructed that an aircraft chartered by the Gupta family be permitted to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base.
Koloane made the submission at the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday, which heard evidence related to the controversial 2013 landing for a private wedding party.
He pleaded guilty to three charges related to the incident and was issued with a final written warning before being appointed as South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands.
Koloane said the first time he heard of the application to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base was when the Indian high commissioner called to complain that their application was taking long to be processed.
He said he called a warrant officer in the Department of Defence.
“Mine was to say to him, please can you make sure you expedite the processing of the flight clearance application we have received from the Indian high commission. And again, I want to stress the word processing the application.”
Koloane said he did not issue any instruction to authorise the landing.
“I did not ever give myself power that I never had because I knew my limitation in terms of the statues and there is no way I could have given instructions that I order another official from another department.”
He said there may have been a miscommunication or misunderstanding which led to the incident.
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