Rajesh “Tony” Gupta blasted the G4S security guards deployed to protect his family’s luxury Saxonwold compound as nothing more than “monkeys”, an account captured in leaked e-mails suggests.
The e-mails point to an altercation that Gupta had with at least two guards in October 2012 after they failed to heed his orders for them to prepare for the arrival of guests.
The e-mails show that on October 2, an employee of Sahara – the Gupta’s computer retailer company – wrote to former G4S general manager Lenord Zaal complaining about one of the guards and how the complaint had been sent to one of the company’s directors, Atul Gupta.
G4S provides security to the Gupta’s businesses and homes, as well as drivers.
In a following letter addressed to Atul Gupta, the letter’s author – a senior G4S security official stationed at the Gupta compound – said there was a “quite serious” problem with one of the guards who wanted to drive rather than guard the main gates.
The author said the problematic guard did not pay attention to his work and is, “most of the time engrossed in some activity”.
“Monday evening I was not on duty, but I understand that G4S did not hear Mr Tony, when Mr Tony called them repeatedly, to inform them that a guest would be arriving, the incident aggravated Mr Tony so much that he called them monkeys [sic].”
The author said the errant guard could cause a lot of trouble for the family by attempting to drive one of the vehicles, possibly killing an “innocent person or a member of the family”.
In response, Zaal undertakes to address the matter, saying that G4S’s customer services manager had visited the compound to address the complaint.
“It was clearly indicated to him that he is not appointed as a driver, but an armed officer at the gate. His PR skills need to [improve].”
The Gupta family’s attorney Gert van der Merwe referred questions to the Gupta family spokesman Gary Naidoo for comment.
He had not replied at the time of going to print.
G4S spokeswoman Wendy Hardy said that many of those who would have had knowledge of the alleged incident had left the company and the company would require some time before it could respond properly to the allegations.
By Graeme Hosken – Tiso Black Star Group