DA wants ambassador Bruce Koloane recalled: what you need to know

16 July 2019 - 06:31 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Bruce Koloane, former chief of state protocol, at the state capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Bruce Koloane, former chief of state protocol, at the state capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times

The DA has called on international relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor to recall South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Bruce Koloane.

This after Koloane testified at the state capture inquiry that while he was chief of state protocol he abused his position to benefit the controversial Gupta family.

Koloane said he enabled the family to land its private jet at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Tshwane in 2013.

Pandor to approach President Cyril Ramaphosa

TimesLIVE reported that Pandor planned to meet President Ramaphosa to discuss whether Koloane should be recalled.

"It is my intention that we do discuss whether any particular action might be merited, be it some form of a letter or further training, or any other action the president might deem necessary. It is a matter that I will be taking up," she said.

'A direct breach'

The DA’s international relations and co-operation shadow minister Darren Bergman said Koloane’s actions were a direct breach of national security and a violation of the National Key Point Act.

"The DA wrote to the minister of international relations and co-operation asking her to please recall the ambassador as soon as possible.

“We are of the view that this is enough reason for the ambassador to be recalled. The state cannot continue to provide corrupt officials with jobs as ambassadors overseas when they have broken the law," he said.

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Bergman said the minister must provide clarity on reports that the department has allegedly taken a decision to let Koloane conclude his term as ambassador to the Netherlands, with a possibility that he will continue working for the department afterwards.

He said if this was the official position of the department, the Ramaphosa administration's purported fight against state capture and corruption was a farce.

"They are South African citizens, first and foremost, and should be held accountable for their actions.

"There can be no new dawn when we compromise the integrity of our constitution and allow individuals with authority to be rewarded with high-paying jobs after neglecting the importance of our state security," Bergman said.

The state capture inquiry has revealed more evidence regarding the infamous Gupta wedding that took place at Sun City in 2013. The Waterkloof air force base was used to land a commercial flight carrying wedding guests, sparking an investigation into how a foreign family could gain authorisation to land a private aeroplane at an air force base. Here's everything you need to know about what was revealed about the event at the state capture inquiry.