‘Mayor’s security no cause for concern’

2013-10-21 00:00

THE suspension of two of uMgungundlovu District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee’s bodyguards is no cause for concern with regard to the mayor’s safety.

Responding to a question about whether the two positions left by Thulasizwe Danny Mbanjwa and Sthembiso Mokoena would be advertised, municipal manager Sbu Khuzwayo said the mayor’s security was not compromised by the suspension of his two bodyguards. He said that the matter involving mayoral security was internal and confidential, “lest we run the risk of compromising his safety by discussing security measures in the public domain”.

On Thursday, Isolezwe quoted Khuzwayo as saying the two positions would not be filled until the finalisation of an investigation.

The two men were suspended after they handed themselves to the police.

Mbanjwa was released on parole after he was sentenced to seven years for his role in the assassination of Richmond warlord Sifiso Nkabinde in 1999. His parole conditions precluded him from carrying or using a firearm.

The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (Psira) allows people with convictions to apply for security certificates.

Psira official Jane Ndlela said if a convict completes the prison term including the parole supervision, if parole was granted, that person is allowed to apply as a security service provider.

Commenting on the parole conditions, regional correctional commissioner Mnikelwa Nxele said Mbanjwa had served his time and was now a free man.

“Danny [Mbanjwa] served part of his sentence and for the other part was under parole supervision. That period had since lapsed. For every offender who gets freed on parole, the supervision period lapses and they become citizens like everyone else. Those parole conditions are no longer in place,” said Nxele.

He said the current attempted murder charge Mbanjwa is facing was a matter for his employer (the municipality) and the police.

KwaZulu-Natal violence monitor Mary de Haas said employing mayoral bodyguards who had records for serious crimes was tainting the image of the city’s first citizen.

“It would seem that people are employed because they were part of MK [Umkhonto we Sizwe] or other community defence structures,” she said.

She said since the employees were paid with taxpayers’ money, the municipal manager has an obligation to make public how the life of the mayor was entrusted to a person with serious criminal records without hiding behind the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

— Witness Reporter.

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