Despite Ajay Gupta appearing friendly and jovial in his exchange with SA businessman Justin van Pletzen in Dubai, a source has revealed that it was Gupta himself who opened a case of invasion of privacy against Van Pletzen.
Van Pletzen remains behind bars and is expected in a Dubai court on Monday, the source said.
The SA Consul General visited Van Pletzen in jail on Thursday and he was said to be fine, “just anxious about the court appearance and what might happen”.
It was reported on Thursday that Van Pletzen had been released, but on Thursday night, Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said, as far as the department knew, the South African businessman was still in prison.
On Wednesday, the department said it had received confirmation from the South African Consulate General in Dubai that Van Pletzen was being detained.
It is believed that Van Pletzen’s arrest was linked to the video he recently circulated of his encounter with Gupta.
Dirco at the time said this was yet to be confirmed by authorities.
Dirco in contact with family
A friend of Van Pletzen confirmed the arrest to News24 on Tuesday, while Dirco confirmed that the businessman’s mother had made contact, claiming her son had been apprehended.
In the video recording, Van Pletzen is seen speaking to a relaxed Gupta in Dubai, asking him if he would return to South Africa.
Gupta appears friendly and tells Van Pletzen that South African authorities had not yet given him “a reply”.
“The day they give a reply, I’ll go there,” Gupta added.
After the publication of the footage, Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said it was up to the investigating officer to find ways to bring Gupta – who is considered a fugitive from justice – back into the country.
The Hawks have not yet revealed what Gupta is wanted for and only said that the charges were not related to the Estina Dairy Farm project in Vrede, Free State.
According to Dirco, consular staff had gone to see Van Pletzen on Wednesday and had been in contact with his family to render consular services.