More ‘moonlighting’ cops to be arrested

2013-05-05 14:00

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A security company hired by the Gupta family to provide protection at their Sun City wedding extravaganza is not registered with the security industry regulator.

A senior police source told City Press that Idol Protection Services was not registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).

The company’s name does not feature on the authority’s electronic database.

According to the source, more than 20 people will be arrested this week for security work done at the Gupta wedding.

Tshwane metro police spokesperson Isaac Mahamba confirmed yesterday that nine officers had already been arrested for alleged moontlighting.

“We will do our own investigation on the charges as we need to verify information with the local police station,” he told the SA Press Association.

Herman Steyn, the owner of Idol Protection Services, yesterday refused to comment on his company’s role in providing security for the Guptas and their guests.

Centurion-based Steyn, a former branch manager at Enforce Security, is understood to be the Guptas’ full-time security chief.

Two metro police officers – one from Joburg, the other from Tshwane – appeared in the Mogwase Magistrates’ Court on Friday, but did not appear before a magistrate as the case was not yet on the roll.

City Press understands four security guards fled the Gupta wedding and left their firearms at Sun City when police arrested officers and reservists.

The suspension of major-general Phumzo Gela, the second-highest ranking police officer in Gauteng, has come as a relief to thousands of officers in the province, the SA Police Union (Sapu) has said.

Gela is one of five high-ranking officials suspended in the wake of “Guptagate”. The others are:

» Chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane;

» Brigadier-general Les Lombard, in charge of all military flights for the air force;

» Brigadier-general Sam Madumane, the commander of Air Force Base Waterkloof; and

» Lieutenant-colonel Christine Anderson, the second-in-command at Waterkloof.

Gela was suspended for his role in the irregular use of police vehicles and police officers to escort guests to the Gupta wedding.

Sapu president Mpho Kwinika said the union has taken Gela to court on four separate occasions when he has allegedly breached police protocol and verbally transferred members, against police policy.

“He has acted with impunity for many years, but he is politically well-connected and police management would not take action against him. We’ve had issues with his selective deployment of the flying squad without him using the SA Police Service (SAPS) crime information analysis centre, which gives you crime statistics over a 24-hour period,” said Kwinika.

The union’s general secretary, Oscar Skommere, told City Press they believe Gela played a major role in allowing police cars and officers to be used for VIP protection.

“We have sent complaints to police management before about Gela’s conduct. He is a divisive figure in the SAPS. We had members complain that, in one instance, Gela would walk into a police station and instruct members to sing for him and, if they did not, they would find themselves redeployed the next day,” said Skommere.

– Additional reporting by Paddy Harper

The Gupta Empire

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