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Legalbrief   |   your legal news hub Monday 21 October 2019

Gupta landing 'fall guy' quits public service

The former head of state protocol who confessed to having played a role in allowing the Guptas to land at the Waterkloof airbase has resigned from the public service, says a TimesLIVE report. Bruce Koloane, who was serving as SA's ambassador to the Netherlands, resigned after the Department of International Relations and Co-Operation recalled him from his post for ‘bringing the country into disrepute’. This was revealed by Minister Naledi Pandor during an oral question and answer session with MPs in the National Assembly last week. Pandor told MPs that Koloane had decided to step down after she was unconvinced by his response when asked to explain why he should not be redeployed to the department's headquarters in Pretoria. Koloane, who first made headlines six years ago, admitted under oath before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry in July that he had abused his previous position as the chief of state protocol, to benefit the Gupta family by enabling them to land an aircraft at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in 2013. Pandor, who was responding to a question from DA MP Darren Bergman, said Koloane had been recalled to head office in terms of the Public Service Act but he chose to resign after he was not allowed to stay on in Amsterdam. ‘In terms of the provisions of the law, we allowed the ambassador the opportunity to make representations as to why he should not be transferred back. He responded as it's his right in a letter at the end of July. After considering his representation, I decided to transfer him back to head office on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so because the matters revealed in the inquiry were of such a nature that I believe they brought the government and country into disrepute.’