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Guptagate: Lt Col Anderson unfairly scapegoated - SANDU

Pikkie Greeff says suspended officer simply a Movements Officer at Waterkloof AFB

MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE UNION IN REACTION TO THE SUSPENSION OF SANDF PERSONNEL IN THE WAKE OF THE GUPTA WEDDING GUEST LANDING FIASCO

Friday 3 May 2013, Pretoria

SANDU has taken note of the suspension of 3 members of the SANDF announced at a media briefing earlier today. 

SANDU takes particular issue with the fact that one of the suspended members, one Lieutenant Colonel Anderson, is merely a Movements Officer at Waterkloof AFB. She could not in any conceivable way have played any part in the seeming unlawful permission of the landing of the infamous Gupta guests plane. 

The sole duties of the officer in question has absolutely nothing to do with authorisation of any form of air traffic movement whatsoever. Her main function consists at the base of facilitating the directing of embarking and disembarking of passengers and crew to the designated areas within the base. She does this under orders from her higher command structures. She has no executive powers of any nature. 

To make matters worse, the officer in question had today learned of her suspension through the media and has not yet even been formally informed of same. Clearly the so called investigations currently underway are sloppy and intent on identifying lower level employees as scapegoats for an embarrassing fiasco that could only have been orchestrated and arranged at very senior levels in government. 

More evidence for this is the fact that the very same departments now investigating themselves repeatedly tells the public that executive involvement is nil. 

That brings into question the objectivity of these so called investigations. SANDU believes that the only way to deal wih this matter is an independent commission of enquiry which is able to investigate this matter without fear, favour or prejudice and which will include judicial, aviation and military security experts. SANDU will offer maximum protection to those SANDF members prejudiced by sloppy investigative work and who's names are smeared in the media as suspended culprits without them even being afforded or subjected to the correct suspension procedures within the SANDF as is legally required. Suspending a lower tier officer such as Anderson who has absolutely no role in decision making of landing authorisation is tantamount to suspending waiters at Sun City for serving the wedding guests. 

SANDU will not let this injustice stand. 

Statement issued by Pikkie Greeff, SANDU national secretary, May 3 2013

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