South Africa scandalized by wedding

JOHANNESBURG — Five South African officials, including police and military commanders, have been suspended after a chartered plane carrying about 200 guests from India to a lavish family wedding was allowed to land at a South African Air Force base, the government said Friday.

The scandal, in which the passengers allegedly bypassed customs en route to a gaudy entertainment complex, has angered many South Africans who see the episode as a case of cronyism linking big business and the highest levels of government.

The government sought to stem public outrage over the incident, launching an investigation into how the jet was given permission to land Tuesday at the Waterkloof Air Force Base and ordering it to fly on Thursday to a civilian international airport in Johannesburg. The wedding festivities wrapped up on Friday.


The guests attended the wedding of Vega Gupta, whose Indian immigrant family has powerful business interests in South Africa, and groom Aakash Jahajgarhia in an extravaganza spanning several days at a leisure center northwest of Johannesburg.

Associated Press