Freedom Front Plus welcomes Malema to ‘the true SA’

2010-10-13 15:27

The Freedom Front Plus lauded the decision to withdraw ANC Youth League president Julius Malema’s taxpayer-funded bodyguards, saying today that he should pay the money back to the state.

“Malema should, just like all other South Africans who have to pay for their own safety measures at their homes, in their cars and even at their workplaces, put his hands in his deep pockets and pay for his own safety measures,” said FF Plus parliamentary spokesperson Anton Alberts.

“The FF Plus wishes Malema a warm welcome to the true South Africa!” he added.

Earlier, police confirmed that the bodyguards assigned to Malema had been withdrawn following a threat assessment.

“Initially, a threat assessment was done and it warranted the provision of protection. That came under review and it emerged that the protection must be withdrawn,” said Colonel Vishnu Naidoo.

Malema’s office was notified of this on October 6, said Naidoo.

He would not give details of how much the bodyguards cost the taxpayers, saying this would give an indication of the level of protection a person was awarded.

In response to a question on whether Malema was entitled to the bodyguards, he said “even you” can request protection if you thought it was necessary.

Last November police ministry spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said the guards had been assigned to Malema but he would not say what the threat was.

“He wrote us a letter saying his life was in danger. Our crime intelligence then investigated and sent recommendations to the police commissioner,” he said at the time.

“Based on those findings, VIP protection was then decided on,” Mnisi said.

Lobby group AfriForum wrote to the national commissioner of police asking what the threat was, and claimed it was costing the taxpayer R300 000 a month.

AfriForum was told that this was classified information.

Malema has both entertained and enraged with his public statements, some of which have led to court cases against him.

Invited to comment, league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said it would be irresponsible to discuss Malema’s security issues.

A spokesperson for police minister Nathi Mthethwa was not immediately available after a suggestion in The Star that the move might be related to the ANC’s succession battle.

The theory, according to unnamed ANC insiders, was that it should be seen in the context of the party’s succession battle and deputy police minister Fikile Mbalula, Malema’s biggest ally, being at loggerheads with Mthethwa and national police commissioner Bheki Cele.

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