Naledi Pandor to approach Cyril Ramaphosa about Bruce Koloane

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

International relations and cooperation minister Naledi Pandor will approach President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss steps to be taken against Bruce Koloane, SA's ambassador to the Hague, for his role in the landing of a Gupta-family plane at Waterkloof in 2013 and for his performance at the Zondo commission of inquiry this week.

"I do think that we need to have a discussion with the president, we have not had such a discussion as yet," Pandor told journalists on Thursday, ahead of presenting her department's budget vote in parliament.

"It is my intention that we do discuss whether any particular action might be merited, be it some form of 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.

The president appoints ambassadors and can remove them at the recommendation of the international relations and cooperation minister.

Koloane, whose term as an ambassador ends in December, admitted under cross-examination at the state capture inquiry this week that he used the name of former president Jacob Zuma and two cabinet ministers to get clearance for the Gupta plane to land at the air force base, a national key point.

Turning to another ambassador, Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane, whose comments on land reform have dominated news in the past few weeks, Pandor said there was nothing wrong with the ambassador stating the policy perspective of SA, particularly with respect to such a painful matter as land.

"However, I did say there is a particular conduct I expect of our diplomats and once you become immersed in the hurly-burly of back and forth, it may go to a level that then distracts from your position as a representative of the president and our country overseas. It harms our standing.

"But as to restating our intention that there should be far more equitable access to land, no one can quarrel with such an opinion," said Pandor.


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