Bekkersdal gunman ‘a government employee’

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Johannesburg - The man pictured in newspapers wearing an ANC bib and carrying a gun during clashes in Bekkersdal is a government employee, the ANC in Gauteng said on Monday.

“He is an employee of government... What we want to know is why he was wearing our bib,” spokesman Nkenke Kekana said.

“Once we have the report, I will give you more. I don't want to pre-empt the report.”

Kekana said the report on last week's incident in Bekkersdal was due to be presented to them on Monday by its West Rand branch.

“The report is about the campaign in Bekkersdal and what happened. We will receive that report at 11am today,” he said.

“We need to assess the whole campaign. We are not an invader in Bekkersdal. We have branches there.”

On Thursday, an ANC delegation visiting Bekkersdal was pelted with stones during a door-to-door campaign ahead of the May 7

general election.

The delegation included Eric Xayiya, Ntombi Mekgwe, Brian Hlongwa and Mpho Nawa.

Thabang Wesi, leader of the Concerned Residents of Bekkersdal, said residents saw ANC “bodyguards” with weapons in the township.

He alleged that they shot at unarmed people, mainly school pupils.

The Star on Friday reported that ANC “bodyguards” fired live ammunition at residents after schooling was disrupted at around 11am.

Three police nyalas and heavily armed police patrolled the area and fired rubber bullets at residents and school pupils, it reported.

The Citizen newspaper carried pictures of the incident. On its front page, an officer in a navy blue police uniform is seen pointing a firearm at two residents backed against a wall. The residents appeared to be unarmed.

In another picture, a man wearing an ANC bib is seen with a gun behind his back.

ANC Gauteng caucus spokesman Mbangwa Xaba said the ANC did not have bodyguards but VIP protection, which was provided by the SA Police Service.

At the time, he said the ANC representatives were protected by their VIP security in Bekkersdal because they were pelted with stones.

Police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini could only confirm that six people were arrested for public violence in the area after police vehicles were hit by stones.

He told the Citizen the case was outside the jurisdiction of police.

Dlamini could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesman Moses Dlamini told Sapa the case was not reported to them by police.

“There is no investigation,” he said. - Sapa


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