Zille barred from Nkandla inspection ‘for own protection’

2012-11-04 10:36

DA leader Helen Zille and her party delegation have been prevented from reaching President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla mansion after police denied them access along the main road passing his home.

A massive police contingent prevented Zille and six other DA leaders from approaching the R248 million complex, which they had intended to “inspect” as part of their public oversight role.

Several hundred ANC supporters and irate local residents blocked the roads linking Eshowe and Kranskop.

Police told Zille and her entourage that they were unwilling to use force to clear the road.

As a result, Zille and her team were kept several hundred metres from the ANC supporters, who were singing pro-Zuma songs and hurling insults at the DA supremo.

Zille said police were undermining “the Constitution” by allowing the protesters to block the road while denying her right to freedom of activity and freedom to gather publicly.

Police said, however, that they would not allow the team closer to the house for their own protection.

Zille held an impromptu press briefing at the police road block while Zuma’s supporters toyi-toyied on the other side of the obstacle.

Zille said she would “take the matter further”. She eventually left without reaching Zuma’s house.

Thulani Mashaba, chairperson of the local ANC region, defended the blockade, saying Zille had no business coming to KwaZulu-Natal to point fingers at the president when children were dying from poverty in her own province.

Zille then went to the local police station to lay charges against the ANC regional leadership over the blockade.

Hundreds of ANC supporters were bussed to the police station where they held an impromptu rally and sang songs insulting Zille until she left.

» This article was updated after first being published.

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