Moonlighting common practice for cops

Moonlighting is quite normal for officers who want to make extra money.

Tshwane metro police. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

PRETORIA - Eyewitness News has established the practice of moonlighting is common among Tshwane metro police officers looking to make an extra buck on the side.

Eyewitness News has spoken to several Tshwane metro police officers, including those accused of driving the Gupta's wedding guests to Sun City.

While the men linked to the Gupta scandal said this was the first time they had ever taken on a side job, several others said they regularly provide vehicle escorts during strikes.

One officer said during the last fuel strike, four off-duty metro cops armed with shotguns escorted petrol trucks from the depots in Waltloo to petrol stations around the city.

The work would earn them up to R1,000 a day.

Tshwane metro police will speak to media on Friday to announce steps it will be taking against officers implicated in the Gupta matter.

So far, officials from International Relations, the Police Ministry and the Air Force were suspended for their part in the debacle.

The nine Tshwane metro police officers have two days to explain why they should not be suspended.

If they fail to do so they will be relieved of their duties.

Police management served letters on those implicated in the so-called Guptagate saga on Tuesday.

It is understood the men fitted false number plates and blue lights to their private vehicles.

Eyewitness News broke the story on 30 April that a private jet chartered by the Gupta family carrying over 200 wedding guests, had landed at the Waterkloof Air Force Base without following normal procedures.

The plane was ordered to leave the base and then depart from OR Tambo International Airport two days later.

MADONSELA TO PROBE 'GUPTAGATE'

On Wednesday, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said it was pleased that AG Terence Nombembe's office had accepted its request to investigate the matter.

But Nombembe's office has now clarified it will be merely study the findings of various interdepartmental probes.

The DA's Dianne Kohler-Barnard said, "I had a very clearly worded letter from the AG saying this matter would be investigated. It is his job to look at the possibility of wasteful expenditure."

As if she didn't have enough on her plate, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela might soon be asked to establish if there was any unauthorised, irregular or wasteful expenditure as a result of the use of state resources by the Gupta family.

The DA's Dianne Kohler Barnard said she understood the AG as willing to investigate adding that she would not ask again.

"I don't appeal to public servants. What I will do as a final resort is go to the Public Protector."

The AG's Africa Boso said the office would not be conducting a special investigation into the Gupta scandal.

He said this decision was reached after assessing the standard audit matters which the AG's office takes on.

Several departments including the Department of Defence and the Police Ministry have also launched internal probes to get to the bottom of the incident.

The Indian High Commission will host a press conference on Thursday to explain its part in the debacle.