New Age publisher arrested

2010-09-27 10:05

Johannesburg – Businessman Atul Gupta, the publisher of the new ANC-linked newspaper The New Age, was arrested at the weekend for refusing to be searched by police, an official said on Monday.

"He was stopped somewhere in Sandton and police wanted to search him and he refused," Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza said.

"He was then taken to the police station and he was released on a warning.

"He is appearing in the Randburg Magistrate's Court today (Monday)."

Kweza said she could not comment on a report in the Sowetan newspaper that Gupta boasted that he knew national police chief Bheki Cele and threatened to get the police officers who arrested him fired.

The New Age is due to launch next month.

Gupta is said to be a close friend of ANC leader President Jacob Zuma and also funds The Thinker magazine, edited by former minister in the presidency, Essop Pahad.

Gupta's brother, Rajesh, and Zuma's son, Duduzane Zuma, are business partners who own shares in steel company ArcelorMittal.

The Sowetan reported that Duduzane Zuma went to the police station after Gupta was arrested.