Report on Gupta Waterkloof landing concludes they abused diplomatic privilege

Report on Gupta Waterkloof landing concludes they abused diplomatic privilege

- The report on the Gupta Waterkloof Landing in 2013 has been released for public viewing

- It details the events that occurred before, during and after the landing at the military base and concludes that the Guptas abused diplomatic privilege

- It also highlights the ethical behaviour of several South African officials who refused the Guptas

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In 2013, the Gupta family organised a landing at Air Force Base Waterkloof for 217 guests to attend the wedding of Vega Gupta (23) and Indian-born Aakash Jahajgarhia at Sun City.

The landing sparked widespread criticism, and investigations into the event followed.

Titled Landing of a Commercial aircraft at Air Force Base Waterkloof, the investigation revealed that the Gupta family's attempt to organise a special landing at OR Tambo International Airport was turned down.

Briefly.co.za learned the Guptas then approached the Indian High Commission who re-designated the wedding entourage as an official delegation to secure a landing at the Waterkloof base.

The 30 page report concluded that this was a breach of diplomatic protocol, and that the Gupta's had abused diplomatic privilege by misrepresenting the purpose of the flight.

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"We believe that the unified public voice which condemned the incident, together with decisive government action, serves as a useful basis for the development of a partnership between our people and their government in the fight to combat crime and corruption in our country," the cluster said in the report's conclusion.

However, the findings of the investigation also highlighted the ethical and professional behaviour of officials who refused to authorise the Gupta's requests, and who were subverted by individuals who bypassed official channels.

"Notwithstanding the negative findings, the work of the investigating team has brought to light the way public servants ... conscientiously and faithfully perform their duties and daily tasks, and whose work is a credit to the country that they serve."

The investigation said the landing of the jet at a secure military base highlighted serious issues which needed to be addressed.

These included the identified culture of undue influence, underpinned by poor ethical conduct and a lack of professionalism, described in the report.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said at a press briefing on Sunday: "The investigating team has conclusively found that in February 2013 the Gupta family approached the Airports Company South Africa and requested landing rights and an elaborate reception for the wedding party."

Read the full report here.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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