Home South African MKP suspects ‘foul play’ in Zuma motorcade accidents

MKP suspects ‘foul play’ in Zuma motorcade accidents

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The uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) Party says two “suspicious” car accidents in the past two years involving former president Jacob Zuma’s motorcade have raised concerns about the former president’s personal safety.

Former president Jacob Zuma. File picture

THE uMKHONTO weSizwe (MK) Party says two “suspicious” car accidents in the past two years involving former president Jacob Zuma’s motorcade have raised concerns about the former president’s personal safety.

In the latest incident on Thursday night last week, the police said that a vehicle driven by a suspected drunk driver allegedly crashed into a state armoured vehicle that was transporting Zuma.

A 51-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of drunk, reckless and negligent driving and he is expected to appear at the Eshowe Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

MKP spokesperson Nhlamulo Ndhlela said the incident, which seemed to have been deliberate, highlighted a severe breach in Zuma’s “security apparatus”.

“We have also been monitoring and observing a sequence of inter-related events that have taken place under the Cyril Ramaphosa government which took place after Zuma’s announcement on December 16 that he is going to vote and campaign for MK Party,” said Ndhlela

He said Zuma’s motorcade had experienced two car accidents in a year and a half, both committed by alleged “drunk drivers” who managed to drive directly into Zuma’s motorcade.

The Presidency and Minister of Police Bheki Cele have denied claims that Zuma’s security measures had been deliberately weakened.

Ndhlela said the party was extremely concerned over the safety and security of Zuma after “a series of events” that it said cannot be deemed coincidental.

The party said these events included: “Cyril Ramaphosa lodging a legal campaign against MK Party on matters related to our registration and trademark infringement with the IEC”; the suspension of Zuma by Fikile Mbalula for campaigning for MKP; the closure of Zuma’s FNB bank account and the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) disqualifying Zuma from participating in the May election.

Last week, the IEC upheld objections to Zuma’s nomination to stand for Parliament because of his criminal record, which is related to a 15-month prison sentence handed to him by the Constitutional Court after a contempt of court conviction in 2021.

Ndhlela said there were also many unanswered questions regarding Zuma’s security.

“It is also of serious concern that Zuma’s security detail and resources, including his vehicle fleet, are alarmingly outdated and in disrepair, significantly contrasting with the provisions accorded to other former presidents.”

Ndhlela said that Zuma’s home security had also been compromised and continuously weakened, posing a significant risk to his safety.

“Police Minister (Bheki Cele), who is responsible for the former president’s protection unit, has not upgraded his vehicle for eight years. The MK Party calls for our members to remain vigilant while urging calm and restraint from our supporters and the broader South African public that has reached out to MK Party and Zuma,” Ndhlela said.

The Presidency dismissed claims that Zuma’s accident was due to a security breach, with spokesperson Vincent Magwenya saying the security details of the former president were a matter for the police.

He said the Presidency was not a security agency or a law enforcement authority and the SAPS was responsible for the protection of sitting and former heads of state.

Cele’s spokesperson, Lirandzu Themba, said they had noted the request for Cele to be questioned about Zuma’s security details, saying Cele was satisfied with Zuma’s security arrangements.

“Following a thorough briefing to the ministry by the management of SAPS, the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, is satisfied that the current security deployed for the protection of Mr Zuma is sufficient and on a par with other former heads of states.

“The ministry finds the call made by the MKP for the Minister of Police to be questioned on Jacob Zuma’s security details reckless and out of order,” Themba said.

She said the ministry and the SAPS will not divulge any security details of any current or former head of state of the country.

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