Well-connected Gupta due in court
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 policemen who arrested him fired.
The New Age is due to launch next month.
Gupta is said to be a close friend of African National Congress 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 SA [JSE:ACL].
The Sowetan reported that Duduzane Zuma went to the police station after Gupta was arrested.
The article doesnt say what the cops were looking for or what Gupta was possibly hiding.
As far as I am aware, the police need a warrant to perform a search. Has this changed?
Our president tarnishes his name more and more as each day goes by. Does he actually realise what he is doing?
@Robin Grant - UNLESS THEY'VE GOT PROBABLE CAUSE. ANYWAY THIS GUY IS A CROOK IF YOU'VE BEEN FOLLOWING THE SISHEN IRON ORE RIGHTS SAGA WHERE HE AND HIS CRONIES FRAUDULENTLY COPIED KUMBA'S APPLICATION!!!
Useless report again- as pointed out by Colin... what were they looking for? Surely we don't live in a state where police randomly search people? The way it's been reported it sounds like harassment.
Unfortunately random searching is quite common amongst our poorly trained police officers. They are not familiar with terms such as "just cause" or "reasonable suspicion" and will quite happily demand to search anyone they like. In this case I suspect that Mr.Gupta probably was acting well within his rights and this case will be tossed out.