Zuma arrives in bullet-proof style

2012-02-09 19:47

Parliament - President Jacob Zuma was driven through the wind-swept streets of Cape Town in a bullet proofed security vehicle ahead of his State of the Nation speech in the National Assembly on Thursday.

Streets around the Parliament precinct in the city centre were cordoned off for the event, with large barriers put up to hold back the crowds, which were nowhere to be seen.

Zuma was greeted by saluting navy and army officers and led into Parliament by a cavalcade of police motorcycles and military men on horseback.

Before starting his speech at 19:00, Zuma marched up the red carpet outside the assembly, waving to onlookers who lined the carpet.

Heavily armed police officers patrolled the area ahead of Zuma's arrival, while a helicopter circled overhead.

Journalists, used to covering the annual event complained of being harassed by police officers who ordered them to remain within a roped-off enclosure.

Before Zuma arrived a burly police officer ordered a journalist to stop an interview with an MP.

"This is no place for small talk," he said.

"You don't loiter here. Go do your interview somewhere else."

Earlier a particularly stern police officer warned a journalist who had stepped outside the enclosure to escape the heat of the sun that she should "watch out".

"Get behind the rope," the burly, wide-shouldered, walkie talkie-holding policeman said.

"And don't laugh at me. You don't want to see my bad side."

Joylene van Wyk, the co chair of Parliament's Press Gallery Association, said journalists had been treated like "animals" at the event.

"We are not animals. We know how to do our jobs," she said.

"We walk these cobblestones every day and now we get treated like this."

In one area outside Parliament, fewer than 10 people stood with their eyes fixed on the red carpet inside the precinct, behind a boom gate and a metal detector.

Asked if they were interested in the arrival of the MPs, a woman among the group said: "I'm just waiting for them to let me cross the road."

"They made me close my shop early," a man said.

"When I can cross here I'm going home."

  • Kevin - 2012-02-09 20:02

    Ummm...where was the 2nd helicopter in case the 1st one crashed..?

      Mike - 2012-02-09 20:51

      Makes me wonder! Have a state of the nation speech where we must trust his word but he arrives in a bullet proof car?????????? Am I missing something??

  • David - 2012-02-09 20:11

    Why must the buffoon arrive in a bullet proof luxo-barge? Why must every bridge and pavement be manned by armed militia? Because of a huge super-ego. He thinks he is very grand and important enough to take out.

      Ntokozo V Zwane - 2012-02-09 20:37

      Did J Edgar know someone was guning for him? Did JFK know someone had his number? Its called precautionary measures to make sure things run smoothly, and we dont end up wit no president. Sum of you are so bias against the ANC you would swear they do absolutely nothin right #smh

      John - 2012-02-09 21:23

      Yes then tomorrow he arrives in his normal BMW, so what's the point? This is all just a show of power. Close the streets and businesses on those streets, even to pedestrians. Some streets were closed at 5am, for what? They closed roads that have entrances to residential buildings and won't let people into their homes. Absolutely pathetic.

      Jymiro - 2012-02-09 21:52

      Remember Chris Hani who was killed by lunatics

  • Burtfred - 2012-02-09 20:17

    Zooms thinks he is king of the world. So African.

  • DanieSmit - 2012-02-09 20:23

    Important leaders / strongmen, is it not the story of Africa ?

  • donald.raphiri1 - 2012-02-09 20:34

    I'm glade hear that our leader mr j.z is look forward to develop north west course. Municipality leader are not delivering in rural area like mafika in rustenburg where mining take place,we dnt have street light and proper Facility like road.youth center where youth can access useful information all they is vote 6or your party ,d together we can Ðo more. Mr zuma as youth we are faciÑg with maÑy changes like high rate of unemployment and crime in local area. I will be happy if I can see this problem address course I don't no our anc youth leader are doing. I'm sick and tie of the that is not delivering and when come time for election the come 2 our village coming 2 use use 2 give them jobs after that they forget about the mandate of the community n anc

  • Grant - 2012-02-09 20:42

    The circus has arrived once again to taint Cape Town,with all its wasted tax payers money, fancy cars and security and idiot bafoon guests, would not even waste a bullet on this idiot :) and his criminal art e rage

  • march54 - 2012-02-09 20:42

    On my drive from hospital bend towards southern suburbs saw more policemen in 20 minutes than I have seen in my suburb in a year and I live within 200 metres of police station. Why such a show of protection when citizens in some areas of South Africa can not leave their houses after dark, we have a high murder rate, drug lords are living off the fruits of others addictions. This show by the President sends the message his protection is more important than that of the people who voted his party into office.

  • John - 2012-02-09 21:24

    Yes then tomorrow he arrives in his normal BMW, so what's the point? This is all just a show of power. Close the streets and businesses on those streets, even to pedestrians. Some streets were closed at 5am, for what? They closed roads that have entrances to residential buildings and won't let people into their homes. Absolutely pathetic. Last year was not nearly as bad, imagine next year.

  • Jacky Mutsila - 2012-02-09 23:20

    the president deserves all the protection n security.dont hate

  • Ronald - 2012-02-10 00:42

    With the streets and spectator area virtually deserted, it looks like someone is getting a stern talking to for forgetting to organise the rent-a-crowd.

  • Zyklon85 - 2012-02-10 09:28

    Die tokoloshi saaaaal yo fangalangalang

  • Thato - 2012-02-10 09:45

    Its funny how the article keeps reffering to "Zuma"- had it been reporting about state of nation address in another country it would have reffered to " The President" or "President Bush"- its makes me angry how the media degrades the image of Our Beloved Country especially on the News24 website. Perhaps if we learn to respect our leadership despite of the politics, South Africa will prosper. I am not politicaly active but I read and understood the Governments Goals in terms of crime prevention, development, job creation, social and economic upliftment. I strive to ensure that each day I help atleast 1 person regarding the above aspects- be it with advise, explanations or financial assistance etc. If we all stopped bitching about useless things and focused our energy on doing good South Africa WILL PROSPER. yesterday I called a group of youngsters to my place and assisted them with perparing proper CV's& cover letters & preparing for interviews,career choices& search the net for intern programms and learnerships, access to finacial aid and universities. Today I am meeting a group of youngsters who want to establish an NGO "environmental& Socio-economic education youth group" which deals with waste collection& prevention, settlement clean up& beautificaton, awareness campaigns and other social& economic initiatives. Perhaps if we all focus our energy& resources in doing good within our surrounding communities- RSA will move forward. Think Good and Do Better. SA Shall Prosper*

  • Thato - 2012-02-10 10:02

    I pay my taxes so I expect the President of My Country to be well protected esp at a ceremony where masses are expected (therefore easier for assassins to operate). They should have flew 8 more hellicopters for all I care- A nation that can not respect and protect its leaders is a nation with no future- be it Zille or Zuma. The people have voted and a president was sworn in so lets build this South Africa my People*** As long as there is no Policy that promotes the opression of one by another- or the prevention of one's social, economic and democratic rights. South Africans must learn to respect the leadership- even if you are no in agreement with what the do or say, do it in a respectiable manner. Do it as though your salary depends on it- at work your supervisior is sometimes not the smartest person you know but you still adress/ advise them in a respectful manner and by doing so the company shall prosper.

      Shipingana - 2012-02-10 10:18

      @Thato, we salute people like you, keep on doing the good job you are doing as we need more South African with this attitude. God will bless you and the little you are doing is at least changing South Africans. Ignore the idiots who are criticising every little thing positively done by our leaders. God Bless you Thato.

  • Hennie - 2012-02-10 10:55

    HAHA , he must be scared....

  • Joylene Van - 2012-02-10 19:12

    Well Moss (Moziz) you clearly don't know what you are talking about. Be careful before you label me as a thief.

  • pages:
  • 1