2 May 2013
DIRCO suspends the Chief of State of Protocol.
In the past 24 hours The Department of International Relations has been assessing the circumstances around the travel arrangements of a visiting foreign delegation that landed at Waterkloof airbase on the morning of 30 April 2013 thoroughly and all senior officials involved have been engaged.
Preliminary investigations have revealed the need to probe the circumstances under which the clearances for the aircraft to land were secured. The department takes this matter in a very serious light.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation has accordingly taken a decision to place the Chief of State Protocol Ambassador Bruce Koloane on compulsory leave with immediate effect to allow the department to get to the bottom of this matter...and he has been duly informed. The internal investigation is to start with immediate effect with other state organs.
We also want to categorically state that no executive authority was granted either by DIRCO or Presidency for this civilian aircraft to land at Waterkloof airbase. However it became clear that flight clearances were secured with the involvement of some officials hence this decision.
The deputy Chief of State Protocol will assume the responsibility of the Chief of State Protocol in the interim whilst the investigation is on-going.
Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974.
Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road