File photo: Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance on Saturday condemned the "appalling abuse" of police resources to provide VIP protection for President Jacob Zuma's ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and called on Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to explain the reasons for the protection.
"The DA condemns as an appalling abuse of police resources the ongoing VIP protection afforded to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma," DA spokesperson Zakhele Mbhele said. Dlamini-Zuma, a former African Union Commission chairwoman, held no position in South Africa's government and was not a visiting head of state. "She is, at present, just an ANC party official," Mbhele said.
The South African Police Service (SAPS), in a statement, had argued that Dlamini-Zuma had received "threats". As such, the DA would submit parliamentary questions to Mbalula to ask him to justify this costly VIP protection for a person who was plainly not a VIP and for him to explain these "threats".
The DA questions would include on what dates Dlamini-Zuma was threatened and to what level these threats extended; how many threat assessments had been conducted and on what dates respectively; and what was the cost of the VIP protection for Dlamini-Zuma to date.
"If public money is to be spent on protecting an ANC official then the public must be informed of what serious 'threats' exist against Dlamini-Zuma to justify expensive protection.
The SAPS would be required to keep a detailed record of these threats and Mbalula must make this known to Parliament," Mbhele said. At a time when public safety was increasingly under threat from brazen criminals, when army bases and police stations were themselves being robbed, cash van bandits were using explosives on highways, and when OR Tambo International Airport could be robbed of millions of rand undetected, it was clear that policing priories should be on protecting the public from criminals, not on protecting another African National Congress official.
"Dlamini-Zuma is proving herself to be another Zuma from the start; using state resources and public money with no regard for the rules. This smacks of a public-sponsored VIP status to boost Dlamini-Zuma's stature as she campaigns within the ANC.
"The DA expects answers from Mbalula and South Africa deserves to know why an ANC official is receiving VIP protection at public expense with no justification made known yet," Mbhele said. Dlamini-Zuma is widely believed to be one of the contenders to take over from Zuma as ANC president at the ANC's elective conference in December.