NDZ “VIP” protection: Mbalula must urgently account to Parliament

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Yesterday, Acting National Police Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane, confirmed to Parliament that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who holds no office in South Africa’s government, continues to receive protection from the Presidential Protection unit while she travels around the country to campaign within the ANC.

Now almost a month since the Dlamini-Zuma “VIP” scandal was exposed, Minister Fikile Mbalula has done nothing to stop it. This is an outrageous failure by the Minister, as VIP Presidential Protection costs hundreds of thousands, if not millions of rands, for a person who holds no public office in service of the people of South Africa – she is merely an ANC party official.

I will therefore write to the Chairperson of Parliament’s Police Committee, Francois Beukman, to request that he urgently summon Minister Mbalula, to appear before the Committee. I believe this is urgent as every day that passes racks up further expense for the public on an ANC official who does not deserve Presidential Protection.

Mbalula must explain to Parliament:

1) Why ANC Presidential hopeful, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, continues to receive presidential protection since this scandal was exposed almost a month ago;
2) Who authorised the continuation of Dlamini-Zuma’s presidential protection since the scandal was exposed;
3) On what basis Dlamini-Zuma deserves the highest protection the state can offer: the Presidential level of security.

The DA has already asked Parliamentary Questions of Minister Mbalula on how much, exactly, has been spent from public money on protecting Dlamini-Zuma while she remains only an ANC official. We have also asked why the Presidential Protection Unit continues to protect and transport Dlamini-Zuma around South Africa.

We are yet to receive answers from Mbalula on these critical Parliamentary Questions.

The fact is that prominent leaders in South Africa, of political parties and other organisations, and those who hold seats in government, are threatened on a daily basis, yet are not afforded any protection services. Their safety is ignored, while Dlamini-Zuma has been afforded the Rolls-Royce of safety at the Presidential level, for no apparent reason other than that she is an ANC insider.

One such unprotected leader is the SACP’s second deputy general secretary, Solly Mapaila, who had a gun pointed at him at a ceremony to commemorate Chris Hani recently, without the Presidential Protection Services being rolled out for him. This disparity leaves serious questions unanswered about why Dlamini-Zuma receives such political preference.

It is time for Mbalula to account for the most expensive resources being wasted on protecting an ANC elite official, while other prominent leaders and South Africans are left to fend for themselves in the face of clear and present danger.

Mbalula must answer to Parliament, and the DA will not rest until the public money wasted on protecting Dlamini-Zuma is fully accounted for.

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