Cops abused after pulling Winnie's car over
Jacques Steenkamp, Beeld
Johannesburg - Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is demanding an apology from two police officers who pulled over her car on the M1 highway because it was weaving recklessly through traffic at 150km/h.
"Who the fuck do you think you are," she repeatedly yelled at him and his colleagues, Warrant Officer Jannie Odendaal said on Tuesday.
"I didn't recognise her since she had white powder all over her face and looked much older than when I'd last seen her."
Odendaal, a member of the Gauteng police flying squad, said the occupants of the vehicle refused to identify themselves.
"I've been working my arse off in the police for 19 years and now I have to apologise to her for doing my job," said Odendaal.
A general in the office of the Gauteng chief of police, Lieutenant General Mzwandile Petros, told Odendaal that he would accompany them to Madikizela-Mandela so they can apologise.
Petros would then apologise on behalf of the police.
"I don't know if I still belong in the police if this is the way they treat me.
"It looks like they're accepting Ms Madikizela-Mandela's word above my own," said Odendaal.
At about 09:50 on December 30 2010, Odendaal and his colleague - who doesn't want to be identified or discuss the events - pulled over a silver Audi A6 at the Jan Smuts Avenue off ramp on the M1 north.
On orders from Petros, they were pulling over and searching vehicles.
According to Odendaal they had already noticed and followed the Audi at the Xavier Road off ramp.
"We decided to pull over the Audi and switched on our sirens and lights," Odendaal said.
The car, which has tinted windows, only stopped about 5km further.
"A man jumped out and yelled: 'Who the hell do you think you are to want to search this vehicle, we are not in the era of apartheid any more'," Odendaal said.
The man appeared to be one of Madikizela-Mandela's bodyguards. He bumped Odendaal against the chest, according to Odendaal.
"I fetched a taser from our vehicle to scare him off. He then said they are accompanying Ms Madikizela-Mandela and they're very late."
Odendaal's colleague insisted that he wanted to identify Madikizela-Mandela himself, but the man refused.
Odendaal says he and his colleagues were in full police uniform.
Madikizela-Mandela got out, yelled at them, and instructed her bodyguard and driver to drive on.
According to Odendaal they logged the incident, but no complaint was laid because they felt "nothing would come of it since it's Madikizela-Mandela".
Last week they were informed that Madikizela-Mandela, her bodyguard and driver had submitted three complaints against them.
Odendaal says he was initially willing to swallow his pride and apologise, but has since changed his mind.
He and his colleague were transferred to other departments in the police on Friday until an internal investigation can be completed.
"We were asked to write a report and did so. We had to go to the provincial office where a general said Madikizela-Mandela would withdraw the complaints against us if we apologise to her."
Colonel Neville Malila, police spokesperson, said on Tuesday that a complaint of pointing a firearm and intimidation is being investigated against Odendaal and his colleague.
An internal investigation is also underway.
He said the bodyguards submitted these complaints. According to him the two policemen didn't speak to Petros and the case is considered sub judice.
Zodwa Zwane, Madikizela-Mandela's spokesperson, referred Beeld to "the minister or the commissioner of police".