Malema’s hired guns: firm denies political ties

2011-04-14 00:00

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s controversial armed bodyguards, who sparked a judge’s outrage this week, are from a little-known Durban start-up — Tactical Security Services — and insist they have no political connections.

The presence of the guards dressed in black suits and red ties led to speculation over who is paying for them and where they come from.

On Tuesday Judge Collin Lamont, who is hearing Malema’s hate speech case in the high court in Johannesburg, instructed that all armed personnel be cleared from his courtroom and that no armed personnel other than police should be allowed in the building. The guards were present yesterday, but were not carrying their automatic rifles.

In a brief interview yesterday, Adriaan Snyman, the 29-year-old former director of the company, who is now in the Malema contingent, played down the company’s role and inferences about its connections.

The company was founded in 2008 and is registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA).

“We are not politically connected or anything. We come highly recommended because we look after the best of the best,” he insisted.

“We know how to keep people alive. This is not about Malema flying us up to Johannesburg or anything. People are trying to turn this whole thing into a negative story.”

He would not discuss who is footing the protection bill or any other details.

Little else is known about Snyman, who according to PSIRA records appears to be have been registered as a security officer in 2007 and who is at level C, a supervisory level that allows specialist training, including for armed response and special event.

There is another side to the grim-faced guard. Shepherd’s Keep Home for Abandoned Babies in Berea, Durban, where the security company is based, told yesterday of how Snyman helped get Welfare MEC Meshack Radebe to their door in charitable drive.

Founder Colin Pratley said Snyman helped by making his contacts in the police aware of the shelter, which led to Radebe visiting their home last year and donating R5 000 and gifts for the children.

 

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