Justin van Pletzen, the man who famously confronted Ajay Gupta outside the South African embassy in Dubai, is under investigation by United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities. But he has not been arrested or charged, his family has reportedly said.
In an interview with Times Select, Van Pletzen's brother, Sebastian, reportedly said: "Yes, there is an investigation by UAE authorities, because a law on videoing people in that country has been broken, but I can assure you my brother has not been arrested or charged."
Van Pletzen spotted Gupta outside the embassy in Dubai earlier this month and approached him wanting to know when he would return to South Africa. Gupta is wanted by the Hawks in their investigation into state capture.
In a filmed exchange, Gupta told Van Pletzen he would return "when they reply to me".
Reports emerged this week that he had been detained by Dubai authorities, apparently in relation to the video.
DIRCO has received confirmation from the SA Consulate General in Dubai that South African businessman Justin van Pletzen was being detained— The Diplomat (@Benji_Seitlhamo) April 11, 2018
It is alleged his arrest is linked to a video he recently circulated about Ajay Gupta, whom he met in Dubai
Sebastian van Pletzen reportedly said Justin had been instructed to "keep a low profile".
"There is a law, which means it is illegal to do what Justin did. He [Justin] is co-operating with the Dubai authorities in their investigation. Maybe there will be charges but maybe, and we are hopeful, there won't."
While Justin had acted with good intentions, Van Pletzen told Times Select, it would seem as though he had broken UAE laws.
The department of international relations and cooperation told Times Select that, to the best of their knowledge, Van Pletzen was detained and could not confirm whether or not he was released by Thursday evening.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the DA called for the intervention of international relations minister Lindiwe Sisulu. According to IOL, the DA said Sisulu should disclose the reasons behind Van Pletzen's detention.
South Africans stated their support for Van Pletzen on social media, with many calling for the South African government to intervene.
#BoycottDubai...South Africans thinking of travelling and holidaying in Dubai remember a fellow South African has been arrested for photographing a fugitive from SA justice Ajay Gupta...many compatriots love Dubai @MbalulaFikile. Would be good to see a statement— MarianneThamm (@MarianneThamm) April 11, 2018
How come a South African man (Justin van Pletzen) who takes a video of a wanted criminal accused (Ajay Gupta) is arrested by Dubai authorities and our DIRCO is all calm about it. They should be demanding Dubai release van Pletzen, arrest Gupta and send him to face charges in SA— Peter Mansfield (@Peterman43) April 12, 2018