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Fri Oct 31 23:29:33 SAST 2014

Zuma to miss Gupta wedding: Chabane

Sapa | 02 May, 2013 13:07

President Jacob Zuma will not be attending the wedding of the wealthy and politically connected Gupta family, Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane said on Thursday.

Zuma, said to be a close ally of the Guptas, had other commitments to attend to.

Briefing journalists on the fortnightly post-cabinet briefing, Chabane said high level investigations were already underway into how the Guptas were able to land a chartered flight at the Waterkloof air force base in Pretoria.

The probes, to be done by the International Relations Department, SARS and Defence, would also unearth whether diplomatic privilege was abused to allow the Gupta family to land wedding guests at Waterkloof – a national key point.

Several government departments have denied they gave clearance for a jet chartered by the Guptas to land at the base.

Government ministers are also on the guest list for the Gupta wedding, but Chabane denied a link between the ministers' attendance and the events that unfolded this week.

"I would say many people received invites to attend, and I don't think it has a direct line... [to] a minister attending and the events which surround the plane [landing] at Waterkloof."

Earlier on Thursday, the International Relations Department said the Chief of State Protocol, ambassador Bruce Koloane, had been placed on suspension while it conducted its investigation.

The Gupta family, which owns The New Age newspaper and Sahara, is celebrating the wedding of Vega Gupta, 23, to Indian-born Aaskash Jahajgarhia at Sun City in the North West.

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