Gupta probe will be 'rapid and just'

2013-05-10 14:43
(Picture: Beeld)

(Picture: Beeld)

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Pretoria - A probe into 11 Tshwane metro police officers accused of escorting and providing unofficial security to Gupta wedding guests will be rapid and just, an official said on Friday.

Investigations were underway to unravel the extent of damage caused by the officers’ involvement in the fiasco, executive director Console Tleane told journalists in Pretoria.

"We need to ask to what extent has the integrity of the police department, and indeed the City of Tshwane, been compromised.

"It is a matter of common cause that this matter has caused anxiety within the entire country, and therefore, any association with the said developments would have the potential to compromise the municipality," he said.

The metro officers are in hot water for allegedly providing wedding guests with an unauthorised escort and security from Waterkloof Air Force Base, in Pretoria, to Sun City, in North West.

The guests were on board a jet chartered by the Gupta family, which made an unauthorised landing at the Waterkloof Air Force Base, a national key point, last Tuesday.

Cops suspended

Eight of the metro police officers were suspended with full pay on Friday. They received their notices of intention to suspend on Tuesday.

A ninth officer had not been served with a notice of suspension because he had been admitted to hospital for an unrelated illness.

"It was our considered view that it would not be prudent, nor humane to serve a person with a letter of notice to suspend him while he is in hospital," said Tleane.

He said the remaining two would be served with letters of intention to suspend them on Friday.

"They may be suspended if they fail to provide the department with reasons why they should not be suspended."

Without revealing the actual charges faced by the officers, he said the probe would examine whether the group violated of municipal policy, which prohibits external work without the chief of police's prior permission.

"That policy also states that an employee may not engage in private work that is similar, or almost similar, to what their official work entails," said Tleane.

It would also be examined whether the officers used their status as metro police during the escort.

"Specifically, did the officers present themselves as such, or use their status, or use their municipality-issued weapons or any other tool of their work," he said.

Tleane said no vehicles belonging to the Tshwane metro police department - marked or unmarked - were used by the metro police officers during the escort.

He said the investigation would determine whether they were on duty on the day, and whether they abandoned their posts to do the external work.


The SA Police Service (SAPS) was also investigating whether the officers were carrying their service weapons at the time.

"They are looking at it from a Firearms Control Act angle. No other particular crime has been brought forward."

"They [SAPS] will confirm with us regarding the jurisdiction, where our officers are allowed to employ their weapons and the circumstances. There are clear indications that weapons were employed outside the jurisdiction," he said.

The officers allegedly fitted blue lights and false number plates to their private vehicles to escort guests to the Gupta family wedding.

A senior police officer, three air force officers, and the chief of state protocol have been suspended for their alleged part in the unauthorised landing of the jet carrying the wedding party.

Read more on:    police  |  gupta jet  |  gupta wedding

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