Gupta police contingent arrested

Nine cops involved in escorting Gupta family guests from the air force base to Sun City have been arrested.

Guests arrive at the Waterkloof Air Force Base for the Gupta wedding. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Dramatic new developments have come to light in the so-called Guptagate saga.

Nine Tshwane Metro Police officers have been arrested after they allegedly formed part of the security complement that escorted Gupta family wedding guests to Sun City.

The nine allegedly formed a contingent that used private vehicles illegally fitted with blue lights, sirens and false number plates.

It's also alleged some had carried their service weapons while performing private duties in contravention of the Firearms Control Act.

A plane chartered by the Gupta family made an unauthorised landing at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria, a national key point, on Tuesday.

The guests from India were attending a wedding in Sun City.

Tshwane Metro Police's Isaac Mahamba said, "They have been arrested for the misuse of firearms. They were carrying firearms belonging to the City if Tshwane. We are still wating for a report from the investigating officer who has arrested these members."

The South African National Defence Union (SANDU) has called for an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the so called Guptagate saga.

Spokesperson Pikkie Greef said the suspended officers are scapegoats.

"None of these members have formally been informed by their superiors that they have now been suspended or placed on special leave, they had to hear about it through the media. This is highly irregular because the department has very specific rules regarding suspension and special leave."

Meanwhile, the ANC says it is looking forward to getting more clarity on the Gupta plane scandal in a week's time.

On Friday, government promised its investigation into the matter would be completed within seven days.

The ruling party says while government could have acted faster, the action it has taken is encouraging.

The ANC's Jackson Mthembu says, "Whilst we appreciate that there's an investigation, people are being suspended, still we are not getting an answer as to why it happened."

Mthembu says they did not expect President Jacob Zuma to address the nation but were expecting answers from the Defence Department.

He says they were pleased to see several other key departments fielding questions.

If government's preliminary investigation is anything to go by, it appears almost every rule in the book was bent to allow the Gupta's private chartered jet to land at the Waterkloof Air Force base.

The justice cluster briefed the media on Friday about what it has uncovered so far related to the nearly 200 passengers who arrived at the base on Tuesday to attend the Gupta wedding at Sun City.