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Nzimande wants Acsa to probe Gupta Waterkloof plane landing

Also requests probe into Oppenheimer family’s request to operate private terminal at OR Tambo airport.

Department of Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has asked the board of Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) to commission a report on the landing of the Gupta-family private aircraft at the Waterkloof Air Force Base. This comes ahead of the minister’s possible appearance at the state capture inquiry. 

The aircraft ferried members of Gupta family in 2013 for the infamous Sun City wedding and landed at a national key point — a strong indicator of how the family wielded enormous political influence in the administration of former president Jacob Zuma.

Nzimande told shareholders at Acsa’s annual general meeting on Friday that he wants the board to complete its report on the Waterkloof aircraft plane landing in the next 14 working days. 

Acsa is a state-owned entity that manages SA’s nine biggest airports including OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International and others. The state, represented by Nzimande, is a 74.6% shareholder of Acsa.

Nzimande told shareholders that the commissioned report should determine whether Acsa has played any role in the landing of the Gupta plane at Waterkloof Air Force Base.

“There is the Zondo commission [of inquiry into state capture chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo] and I am being threatened to appear potentially in relation to some of the matters,” he said.  “I want you [the Acsa board] to give me the truth so that I know exactly what happened.”

A government investigation into the landing of the Gupta-owned plane found that an initial attempt was made by the family to organise a special landing at Acsa’s OR Tambo airport. The attempt to land at the airport was turned down but the Guptas managed to secure a landing at Waterkloof base with the help of the Indian High Commission, the investigation found.

Gigaba and Fireblade

Nzimande has also asked the board of Acsa to investigate and produce a report on Oppenheimer family’s request to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport, through the family’s firm Fireblade Aviation.

The matter, which has pitted the Oppenheimer family against home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, is subject to an ongoing probe by a parliamentary committee.

Nzimande said Gigaba told him on the sidelines that he doesn’t “know why home affairs would be the ultimate authority on the matter” as if anything “this is a Department of Transport matter strictly speaking”.

“[This means that] decisions were made somewhere else. So, I need a report within the next 14 working days,” Nzimande told Acsa shareholders.

He wants the investigation by the board to probe what Acsa knows about Fireblade and what role it played in the private terminal at OR Tambo airport. “I want all the information as I might be summoned to the home affairs committee [in Parliament],” he said. 

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COMMENTS   9

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Probe, commisions, look into, bla bla everyday.. Why did this happen in the first place? Its because someone did not do what he was supposed to do during their tenure. Now you want to sit and probe into these historical issues for what benefit??? Further wastage of public funds. Can you comrades do the right thing which is improve service delivery in all forms and across all sectors. If you cant this do this then have the decency to resign and let younger people who still have the enegry and foward momentum to take the country foward lead…Surely there is a Minister who presided over that Ministry when this happened, and 5 years down the road, you want to probe??? This is frustrating to say the least.

I guess it is too much trouble for the Minister of Transport to probe the lawless, killing-machine taxi industry that causes the death about 18 (mainly Black) people every day. The loss of innocent lives in the thousands every year is not enough for a probe? The disgraceful taxi industry gets so much royal treatment from Government there must be some ‘collusion’ going on. The Government does not tolerate the needless loss of life of Black people at the hands of anyone else so ‘why taxis. Maybe the relationship between Government and the taxi industry is worth a probe by someone who cares about this country. Afriforum, OUTA, someone, anyone? I love the way they drive like reckless maniacs and when there’s an accident they blame a mechanical fault and people believe them!

Rip van Nzimande has woken from his deeeeeeeeep sleep.

Oh, after all this time? What took him so long? Couldn’t he find his clothes in that shack where he was washing things in a ‘waskom’? This request by Blade just tells you everything you need to know about the ANC and the many political blue flies that are working their way on the carcass of the South African state. This many years after a foreign plane landed on a ‘national key site’? C’mon, people… (here is my advice, as they say in KiSwahile – ‘Kuyenda uko, wewe’. Or as they say in Cicewa, ‘choka iwe, kuyenda uko’ or which when loosely translated in English means ‘get lost.’ or ‘you are dismissed.’ Or which when put in simple Afrikaans means ‘ag, voetsek’!

WTF- Does Blunt really think that the Oppenheimers would spend millions of rands on a terminal and services and not have all the required written permissions and approved plans in place before building commenced??? IDIJIT!!!!

o’Blade, too little far too late.

What is behind your sudden rush of blood to your head???

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