The most powerful and aided family that encroached and government privileges without penalty, hence parading blue lights at will around the rainbow nation. The #Guptaleaks have finally solved the mystery of the blue light vehicles that illegally ferried hundreds of guests to the infamous Sun City wedding extravaganza in April 2013.
One of the enduring riddles from the Guptagate scandal was the identity of “S&M Transportation”, an unregistered company that was found in a government probe to have billed the Guptas for the provision of vehicles illegally fitted with blue lights to escort the family’s guests between Waterkloof Air Force Base and Sun City.
We can now reveal that the vehicles belong to the same businessman that helped the head of the Presidential Protection Service (PPS) to buy a house. The vehicles used during the audacious stunt were provided by Phineas Manthata, the owner of Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement (ITLE). Manthata’s company is a supplier of blue lights to various units of the South African Police Service (SAPS).
This follows our revelation in July that Manthata in 2012 contributed more than R700,000 in purchase of the house by Major-General Muzingaye Mxolisi Dladla, the head of the police’s PPS. Dladla is a staunch ally of President Jacob Zuma, while his police unit happened to be a major client of Manthata’s company.
Dladla also has ties to the Guptas. He once listed a property owned by one of the Guptas’ companies as his residential address and Rajesh “Tony” Gupta, the youngest brother, admitted under oath that he turned to Dladla for assistance with transportation to Sun City.
This poses the question: Did Dladla knock on the door of Manthata, his personal benefactor and the supplier of his unit’s blue lights after the Guptas had asked him to help them secure blue light transportation.
In May 2013, as the public outcry over the Waterkloof landing was raging, government’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster announced that black BMWs with illegally-fitted blue lights used for the Gupta cavalcades were hired from “S&M Transportation”.
“A criminal case has been registered against the owner for illegally using emergency lights and fitting false registration plates,” then justice minister Jeff Radebe stated on behalf of the JCPS cluster.
The JCPS cluster’s report on the Waterkloof landing later affirmed that “S&M Transportation” had broken several laws. Apart from the illegal blue lights and the false number plates, the company rendered security services without being registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA), as required by law.
“S&M Transportation” wouldn’t have been able to register with the PSIRA , seeing as the company was not a registered business. There is no trace of the company on the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission’s (CIPC) database and, according to a Google search, the only company bearing that name is located in Shelbyville in the USA.
“It was also determined that an individual working for a bogus company had invoiced Mr Tony Gupta for the sum of R512 000 for protection services. Criminal investigations are taking place in all of these cases,” according to the JCPS cluster report.