Guptagate: Nine South African police officers suspended

South Africa has suspended nine police officers accused of escorting and providing unofficial security to guests attending the "memorable" wedding of Indian-origin tycoon Atul Gupta`s daughter.

Updated: May 11, 2013, 21:07 PM IST

Johannesburg: South Africa has suspended nine police officers accused of escorting and providing unofficial security to guests attending the "memorable" wedding of Indian-origin tycoon Atul Gupta`s daughter.

The authorities initially found that the officers allegedly fitted blue lights and false number plates to their private vehicles to escort guests from Waterkloof Air Force Base to the Gupta family wedding at Sun City.

"The officers would receive their suspension letters on Friday," Independent Online quoted Tshwane Metro Police executive director Console Tleane as saying.

"The members (of Tshwane Metro Police) will have their firearms and appointment certificates confiscated," he said.

Tleane said one of those officers had not been served with a notice to suspend because he was in hospital.

"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.

The eight received their notices to suspend on Tuesday, giving them 48 hours to inform the municipality why they should not be suspended. None of the officers made a presentation to the municipality on the matter.

The officers were suspended with pay. Formal charges will be bought against the eight on Friday, said Tleane.

He said it has since emerged that two other officers, apart from the nine, were also involved in the controversial escort and security services to the wedding guests.

"This brings the number to eleven. The two will be served with letters of intention to suspend them today (Friday). They may be suspended if they fail to provide the department with reasons why they should not be suspended," said Tleane.

A senior police officer, three air force officers, and the chief of state protocol were suspended for their alleged role in the unauthorised landing of a jet chartered by the Gupta family at the military base.

The chartered jet made the unauthorised landing at Waterkloof Air Force Base last Tuesday, inviting criticism from across the country.

In a statement later, Atul Gupta apologised and said his family was "simply trying to give daughter... A memorable wedding on South African soil".

PTI