A source close to Van Pletzen, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that he respected the rule of law in the United Arab Emirates and was complying with the police during the investigation.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said Van Pletzen had been detained by the police allegedly in connection with a video of Gupta that he had shared on social media.
However, the department said, this was yet to be confirmed by local authorities.
Consular staff from the mission in Dubai visited Van Pletzen on Wednesday and were maintaining contact with him and his family, the department said.
Ndivhuwo Mabaya, the Dirco spokesperson, said yesterday that the department did not know what charges Van Pletzen was facing.
The controversial video shows a confident Gupta walking out of a building in Dubai when a man with a South African accent asks him when he is going back to South Africa.
Gupta responds “Any day” and heartily shakes the man’s hand.
The source close to Van Pletzen said ex-pats living in the UAE were grateful to the government there for allowing them to work and live in the country. “We want to live by the rules and they have been kind to give us jobs.
“There is nothing to report at the present moment. They are investigating what happened,” he said.
Strict media laws in terms of the UAE Penal Code (Federal Law No 3 of 1987) forbids the publishing of photos without the permission of the person being photographed or filmed, according to advice on the website of a local law firm, Al Tamimi & Co.