VZ: no more VIP guards

2010-12-09 00:00

THE Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has withdrawn security guards assigned to its national chairperson, Zanele Magwaza-Msibi, and barred her from attending any public engagements on behalf of the party.

IFP national organiser Albert Mangaqa Mncwango confirmed in an interview with The Witness last night that Magwaza-Msibi has been barred from addressing any IFP public gathering and that her IFP bodyguards have been withdrawn with immediate effect.

Mncwango said the restrictions are linked to the ongoing dispute in the high court in Pietermaritzburg between the national chairperson and the IFP.

Magwaza-Msibi had four bodyguards assigned to her by the IFP and the other two were provided by the VIP protection unit of the South African Police Force.

The announcement comes two days after Magwaza-Msibi appealed to provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Mammunye Ngobeni, to beef up her security as a result of a shooting incident at a function she was supposed to address at eNseleni Sports Ground near Empangeni on Sunday.

Mncwango said, “It’s true that security has been withdrawn because there is a case going on between the national chairperson and the party. She has also been asked to refrain from addressing IFP public gatherings as it was clear through the eNseleni incident that there are problems with gatherings she is engaged with.”

Asked whether the move would put Magwaza-Msibi’s life at risk, Mncwango said: “These were IFP resources given to her to carry out her duties as the national chairperson.

“If she no longer performs those duties, the party has a right to retain those resources as they cost money. Everyone’s security in South Africa is guaranteed by the [SAPF], so she can rely on that for security,” Mncwango said.

Magwaza-Msibi confirmed the withdrawal and receipt of the letter ordering her to refrain from public engagements.

“They are taking the car and the four guards.

“I am now vulnerable at the time when threats against my life are mounting.

“I don’t know what to do. I only put my trust to God now as I am still awaiting the response from the provincial commissioner’s office after the request I made after the eNseleni incident,” Magwaza-Msibi said.

She said she had been attacked several times since she started being involved in politics.

In an incident in Ulundi three years ago, one of her attackers was shot dead by her bodyguards during an exchange of fire.

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