Report a bid to smear Winnie

2011-01-13 00:00

ZODWA Zwane, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s spokesperson, yesterday responded to the report on an incident after which two policemen have been told to apologise to the politician, by saying the allegations are “are fashionably and ritually false and intended to hurt and harm her reputation. They are malicious.”

Zwane said that “Mama was actually the voice that helped avoid what could have turned ugly”.

Zwane also passed on a statement from someone named only as Jacob, apparently a bodyguard, who described the incident, saying the police officers were aggressive when they got out of their unmarked vehicle.

“[The black officer] came already pointing his R5 rifle at me, and using obscene and rowdy language towards me. I tried to explain that we are with Mama Winnie Mandela and she is late for the funeral at Pretoria and we accept that we are wrong by driving fast.

“‘You are talking s***, I don’t give a f*** and I don’t wanna know’, he exclaimed, still pointing his rifle at me,” Jacob recounts.

He claims that even when Madikizela-Mandela got out of the car, the officers continued to swear at the party, and that he was struck.

Meanwhile, police management yesterday confiscated the service pistol of one of the officers involved, Warrant Officer Jannie Odendaal.

Odendaal said six officers arrived at his house in Brakpan and informed him that they had been ordered to fetch his service pistol.

His leave has also been cancelled and he must report to the Soweto police station.

He said he has been booked off on sick leave. “Emotionally I’m a wreck. No one can tell me what’s happening and whether I’m suspended or not.”

However, Odendaal says he received great support from the public yesterday.

“Everyone agrees with me and says I shouldn’t apologise. If I were to do so, it would look like we were the guilty parties and not them. I think she should apologise to us for her poor behaviour,” Odendaal said.

The police had not responded to Beeld’s questions by the time of going to press.

Pieter du Toit reports that opposition parties reacted sharply to Odendaal’s allegations yesterday. Both the DA and the FF+ have asked that official and independent investigations into the incident be launched.

Kate Lorimer, DA MPL and party spokesperson for safety and security in Gauteng, asked the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) to investigate the incident.

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