Cosatu: Gupta Waterkloof saga an 'absolute insult'

Indian businessmen, Ajay Gupta (left) and younger brother Atul Gupta. (Martin Rhodes, Gallo)

Indian businessmen, Ajay Gupta (left) and younger brother Atul Gupta. (Martin Rhodes, Gallo)

"It is an absolute insult to the people of South Africa that private individuals can use a public facility for their social activities and that state officials should escort them," the trade federation's spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) along with the SA Communist Party (SACP) were reacting to claims made on Tuesday, that access was granted to the Guptas, to land an aircraft ferrying their friends and family from India, at the Waterkloof Airforce Base in Pretoria.

"There is no reason in our view that such should have been allowed as it can possibly compromise the security of our country and its sovereignty," the SACP said in a statement.

On Tuesday, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu called for those who authorised the landing at the national key point to explain how they got to that decision.

"Those who cannot account must be brought to book. The African National Congress will never rest where there is any indication that all and sundry may be permitted to undermine the Republic, it's citizens and its borders," he said.

Earlier in the day, SA National Defence Force (SANDF) spokesperson, Siphiwe Dlamini said the force was not aware of any permission granted for the Gupta family to use the base in Pretoria.

However, Gupta family spokesperson Gary Naidoo insisted in a brief statement that permission was obtained from the SANDF to use the base.

He said the Indian High Commission, and not the family, applied for and was granted the permission.

Attempts to confirm this with the High Commission in Pretoria were unsuccessful.

The affluent Guptas were celebrating the wedding of Vega Gupta (23) to India-born Aakash Jahajgarhia at the Sun City resort in the North West. – Sapa


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