Cops who stopped Gupta discharged

2012-03-06 14:39

Johannesburg - Two policemen who stopped and tried to search newspaper publisher Atul Gupta's vehicle in 2010 have been discharged for breaching police discipline rules, a spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday.

"They have been discharged and they have got 10 days to lodge an appeal," said Sandton police spokesperson Captain Kym Cloete, confirming a report in Beeld.

The two stopped Gupta's BMW X5 outside Johannesburg in September 2010 and searched Gupta's bodyguard and driver. Gupta refused to let them search his car and he was arrested.

Authorities decided not to prosecute Gupta.

Cloete did not know the finer details of the police internal investigation, and a provincial police spokesperson was not immediately available to comment.

However, she said the public was always entitled to lodge a complaint against the police if they were not satisfied with their conduct so that a disciplinary investigation could take place.

The two, named in Beeld as Constable Aubrey Mlotshwa and a colleague, identified only as Constable Mangema, were not on active duty currently, Cloete said.

Gupta, a publisher of The New Age newspaper, was on his way home to Saxonwold when the incident occurred.

Comment from Gupta was not immediately available.

In a reply to questions, Gupta said the two were dismissed following a full investigation by the Independent Complaints Directorate.

There was also a disciplinary process where all the parties involved could state their case.

His decision to complain was based on his desire to help ensure other citizens of the country did not have the same experience.

"It was a really tough process for me, my family and my colleagues, but one I was determined to see through to the end despite the challenges," he said.

  • Shirley - 2012-03-06 14:46

    Amazing-they are dismissed but the corrupt ones who do the real harm are still there!Priorities in S.A. are all messed up!

      Spyker - 2012-03-06 15:21

      ABSOLUTE INSANITY. They should sue the state (civil litigation) + pursue 'unfair dismissal' grounds.

      Tshifhiwa - 2012-03-06 15:52

      The sooner we get rid of Zuma the better. the Gupta's familly is very close to Zuma, i am not suprissed.

      Barker - 2012-03-06 16:00

      To search the inside of a vehicle or house a search warrant is needed. If these two ID 10 Ts did not have a search warrant, what were they looking for? A bribe perhaps?

      David - 2012-03-06 16:50

      @ Barker they can ask to check your boot etc

      goyougoodthing - 2012-03-06 16:58

      Ok, fair call on breach of protocol, but how many cops have done all sorts of things to others such as holding people in jail for no reason, refusing phone calls, leaving families stranded on the roadside etc etc. All unacceptable but nothing happens to those guys. Only the Gupta's have some clout.

  • eben.ferreira1 - 2012-03-06 14:48

    I thought the idea is to create jobs, not destroy them over silly little things.

  • Marion - 2012-03-06 14:50

    I regularly see people stopped on the side of the road and their cars are being searched. Why is Gupta (and for that matter Winnie Mandela) exempt from the same treatment as other road users?

      Marion - 2012-03-06 14:51

      Oh, and to make it worse these two guys who appear to have been just doing their jobs are now dismissed? Every day we get to see how the rich escape justice in SA.

      Hugh - 2012-03-06 15:01

      As much as I hate the ANC and their cronies, the cops have no right to search you without a warrant. We dont live under martial law. Cops are totally out of order in the majority of cases, and their killing spree, forced entries and unlawful arrests need to be highlighted. 27000 failed their firearms competency tests and are walking the streets armed to the teeth. This is the force that will keep the ANC in power in the foreseeable future.

      Ronald - 2012-03-06 15:12

      Hugh, the cops can search a car if they have a warrant, if the search is part of an organised crime prevention operation, e.g. a roadblock, or if they have a reasonable suspicion that the occupants or vehicle was involved or will be involved in criminal activity, and looking at the history of the Guptas, they had a reasonable suspicion.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-06 15:13

      @Hugh, actually police can search your car without a warrant if the is reason enough to believe you may be in the course of an illegal activity, the same applies to your house..

      Kathleen - 2012-03-06 15:14

      it's not what you know, it's who you know!!!

      Doc - 2012-03-06 15:14

      @Hugh, I think that police can search if they have probable cause i.e. the car and driver match the description of a getaway car etc. Inly police have that power NOT metro cops. As for the rest I totally agree with you.

      Johann - 2012-03-06 15:38

      Some people are more equal than others! Marion.

      Fourhundredkg - 2012-03-06 17:30

      @Ronald, @PointBlank. The police can only search if they have a warrant issued by a magistrate or if the they have REASON to suspect a particular person of a specific crime. Otherwise they are acting in contravention of of the Bill of Rights and any evidence they do collect unlawfully will not be accepted by a court.

      Ronald - 2012-03-06 18:34

      Fourhundred, isn't that what I said?

  • StarStruck - 2012-03-06 14:54

    The police have their proirities all messed up. They must understand that some people know their rights very, very well, LOL!

  • Kevin - 2012-03-06 14:56

    I am sure Gupta thinks he did the right thing. Funny ,but I have heard the Gupta name mentioned in all sorts before. Makes yo think.

      Piet - 2012-03-06 15:45

      Hmmm get rid of the cops who go for criminals...

  • Burtfred - 2012-03-06 15:01

    This is the same Gupta that ilegally landed his helicopter in the Joburg Zoo grounds - very close to where he lives in Saxonwold. He thinks he owns the country.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-03-06 15:13

      Money talks, cops get fired.

      Cosmos O'Ndebele - 2012-03-06 15:23

      Where his parents come from, i mean India they know nothing about wild animals, Zoos etc, they killed & ate all those tigers, one horned Rhino, what do u expect from these type of people, landing his bloody chopper on zoo grounds. Tragic

      Joan - 2012-03-06 15:30

      i would like to know how he made his millions.

      Shanelle - 2012-03-06 15:44

      Hi Joan, try this link

  • Gerard - 2012-03-06 15:04

    There is far more to this story than is being told. They just randomly stopped the Guptas and searched them??? The Personalised Plates probably said GUPTA 1 or something. Expect a push back if you search a Million rand car! Who gave the instruction? We will never know.

      Doc - 2012-03-06 15:12

      As far as I know police need probable cause to search a vehicle it cannot just be done willy nilly. If they did not have probable cause i.e. matched the description of a vehicle currently being sought in regards a robbery etc then they are in the wrong. There are many avenues to appeal and set the record straight if indeed there is political interference with their sentence. Just because many of us don't like the Gupta's does not mean that the cops were in the right. Just read our newspapers to read about the extent of abuse of power.

      werner.smidt - 2012-03-06 15:36

      @Doc while that may be true, I don't think it warrants a dismissal (unless a previous complaint was lodged against them for wrongful arrest). This has far more to do with a scuffed ego and making a point of who's calling the shots.

      Doc - 2012-03-06 16:47

      @TheSlip, you may be 100% right but fortunately (for now anyway) we do have a constitution that gives them the right to appeal and fight if they believe that they have been singled out. I know we would all like things to be fair and just from the outset but you and I know the world does not work like that. Many cases have been won on appeal despite the fact that it may have taken years. Also lets not forget that these cops may actually have been abusing powers and happened to pick on the wrong guy. Only those involved know the truth.

  • Andre - 2012-03-06 15:07

    Blatant double standards. Is this what the ANC and all those voting for it is standing for? Indefencable! Stuff that babana republics are made of.

  • spookhuis - 2012-03-06 15:11

    A good labour lawyer should be able to prove they had poor or no training.

  • Brett - 2012-03-06 15:15

    And to think that there are people who say that SA is not a banana republic...

  • Michelle - 2012-03-06 15:17

    isn't the Gupta family closely linked to the head honcho of this country?? What more does anyone expect - friends and family can do what they like!

      joeballito - 2012-03-06 15:25

      Something to do with a bankrupt mine....Dont you hate it when some people get away with murder?

      Michelle - 2012-03-06 16:07

      Shabby Shaik was bitch'n about them saying in connection to JZ and loans, etc.

  • werner.smidt - 2012-03-06 15:18

    POPCRU seems to be mighty quiet about this one . . .

  • Timothy - 2012-03-06 15:19

    While the police are at it, it would be a nice gesture for the SAPS to issue the Guptas with a blue light, it would make it more legal for them to do as they please and for the police to know not to stop them under any circumstances as they know they are above the law, they are afterall untouchable!

  • Trevor - 2012-03-06 15:25

    What happens when you are one of the main financial backers of the makes you arrogant.

  • Tanie - 2012-03-06 15:32

    I always say arm yourself with education,If those police officers were educated enough they would know how to support their actions. Because both the accused and their Boss are illiterate,Gupta took advantage of both sides. The senior police will do anything even if it's something that will drop police officer's moral,just to avoid the COURT and speaking ENGILISH. Now we are in dip sh8T, they will never search anyone again including the NIGERIANS(Drugs) AND the CHINESE(Rhino horns).

  • Matlose - 2012-03-06 15:36

    Isn't this Gupta related to Zuma's family friend? Eish no wonder, this zumanizer hating Malema is a problem.

  • Dianne - 2012-03-06 15:36

    Gupta would not let the police search his car ! Why? What was he hiding??????

  • ?? - 2012-03-06 15:36

    what kind of police discipline rules? who can tell me,cause i have met the same thing

  • Hugo - 2012-03-06 15:42

    hope and pray that this guys sue for unfair dismissal.Who is this Gupta guy that he will refuse to be searched,nx!Zuma...

  • frans.visserdsb - 2012-03-06 15:44

    I have a stupid question. Why did he not want them to search his car? my car gets stopped by the cops on the R21 sometimes - they check my licence and registration, and then wave me on. I have no problem with that. they never search my car, but i would actually give them permission to do so if asked. I have nothing to hide. Why go so far as to have people fired? body in the boot? coke in the cubbyhole? we'll never know...

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-03-06 16:14

      Second question - why were the cops fired? for trying to search a vehicle? at worst they should have received a warning for not following procedure. They were not corrupt, they did not accept bribes, they were not involved in rape, murder or robbery - unlike a number of other cops who are currently 'suspended pending investigation' or get off scott-free. It seems one hand washes the other... Gupta brings out a pro-ANC paper, and gets a share of the Sishen iron ore pie. And becomes an untouchable...

  • Vegi - 2012-03-06 15:52

    Marion Your comment is uttered in ignorance. The police have no right to conduct random searches. They must either produce authority to search you or indicate that they suspect you of habouring an item they are looking for, otherwise they cannot willy nilly search you. I have been stopped at several road blocks and everytime I request the authority to search me or the name of the item I am suspected of harbouring, the police just let me go. The police who conducted this search were idiots for jeorpadising their careers in this manner.

      Philip - 2012-03-06 16:41

      @ Vegi- Obviously in ignorance? Why dont you go and google the legislation and standing orders surrounding vehicle searches. If a vehicle is "suspicious" that is reasonable grounds to stop and search. and before you state that comment in ignorance...I know the law and am an SAP reservist constable with 6 years experience.If you are driving slowly or stopped in my area, (considering the high rates of hijackings, atm bombings are perpetrated by drivers of luxury sedans, X5's etc etc) I will stop and search. PS> because of the risk to my life, when we stop that vehicle it will be with R5's pointed at all occupants until such a time that my safety is confirmed.

      DraganTrenk - 2012-03-07 01:44

      @Vegi-Well said and I am under the same opinion. @Philip-That what you propose,scared for your life,is something that I've seen in the USA(Police Country).Problem with majority of our "policeman,is that they are recklessly selected(job creation!),"trained" instead of educated, mismanaged by similar superiors,underpaid,disrespected for the some of previous reasons,demotivated.There is no any leadership and appreciation for their work by the Society etc,etc.. But,that doesn't give them ANY freedom to bully citizens by abusing civil rights and behave disorderly.We had that disregard of the basic human rights by apartheid police and we can see,daily,more and more of that arrogant abuses towards the ordinary citizens(alibi-we are looking for the 1% of the criminals,though you citizens must allow us our "approach") Applause to the Mr.Gupta,for defending his own DIGNITY.

  • Thoka - 2012-03-06 15:57

    they are Zumptas, incorrect spelling

  • flysouth - 2012-03-06 16:14

    Whilst I hold no sympathy for the likes of the Guptas (connected leeches on society and profiteers I think) the fact is that cops have the right to search under the right circumstances. The most unjust and appalling circumstance has been afforded them by the Firearms Act of 2000 (promulgated 2004) which allows any policeman to search and dwelling, building, vehicle, aircraft or vessel if that policeman has reason to believe that a firearm is present. Shockingly he needs no evidence nor even strong suspicion - just any suspicion which he may dream up in his mind will do! These two cops were a bit slow in not using that law as their defence against being discharged - then again perhaps they did but were ignored? Do we not see how the ANC, who is entirely responsible for ramrodding these draconian laws through Parliament is incrementally removing liberties and freedoms from the people of SA? - bit by bit they will create the totalitarian state they have always desired.

  • Philip - 2012-03-06 16:20

    @ barker- you obviously dont know the law? searching of a vehicle is different to entering a house to search. Suspicious vehicles are stopped and searched all the time- perfectly legally.A warrant can be issued for searching of house or if there is reasonable grounds to enter based on evidence provided by affidavit or crime witnessed. Strange how there are no details of what the sap members did wrong in terms of the search???

  • Philip - 2012-03-06 16:21

    @ hugh- check the law in terms of vehicle stop and search.

  • Colin - 2012-03-06 16:36

    a ploice person is never off duty.

      DraganTrenk - 2012-03-07 01:46

      God help us,than.

  • Derek - 2012-03-06 16:38

    We need to rid our country of these Zuma cronies who exploit our resources and enrich themselves. They also believe they are all powerful and untouchable, well only until the next regime change it would seem.

  • Aaron - 2012-03-06 16:40

    I guess it's plain to see, some people really are above the law.

  • Irene - 2012-03-06 16:51

    How dare the cops think they could do anything to the ANC's newspaper publisher? Gupta funds the ANC. What were they thinking. Obviously didn't know that some are more equal than others in the new SA.

  • S - 2012-03-06 17:01

    And so the politically connected get their way again in the banana republic of ours. I quote from the original N24 article about the arrest: "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." and "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."

  • thozi - 2012-03-06 17:08

    It's stories like these that make me hang my head in shame. I was under the impression that incidents like these happened only in dictatorial states like Zimbabwe - I was wrong, very wrong.

  • Neville - 2012-03-06 17:36

    Jislaaik they stop the wrong people so sorry, and it cost them their job, so sad , If it was me it is ok but it was the friends of the president, maybe they got orders from the top to fire.

  • Jan - 2012-03-06 17:49

    Well, if your principles are that strong, then surely you can forgive them for doing their job? Or did you try to save something more precious...

  • Fanie - 2012-03-06 17:51


  • swavka - 2012-03-07 07:34

    When you sleep with the devil - you get preferential treatment, you become an untouchable - this is a police state whether you accept it or not, thanks entirely to that little man of shower fame.

  • Thomas Moloto - 2013-04-05 10:30

    The law is sometime unfair,Two police officers who suspected or had a reasonable grounds if not rude to search a person has being fired,But if they didn't act when they notice that the life of a citizen is in danger later establish that they were present when the occurance took place they still going to be blamed,Where is the tradition of olden days when a policer was supposed to place himself on duty when exprienced the problem or notice that the crime is in progress,speculating that somebody wanted to extort is not good enough,Let the offence take place and investigate there after arrest the pepetrators,

  • Thomas Moloto - 2013-04-05 10:51

    You are crying every day that police are not doing their job,There is a lot of drugs and drug lords in the country and robbers,How can someone do his job while his/her hands are tiedup.too much freedom for criminals and too much fear instilled to law inforcement,Yes,Corruption is not acceptable to any society,After these do you think the moral of the men and women in the field will still be same to conduct their duties without fear of losing their jobs?,the slogen says they must conduct their duties without fear or fever to make this country safe and place for eveybody to walk and work without fear of their lives.

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