Mokonyane defends use of guards

Johannesburg -

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has defended provincial ANC leaders’ decision to take bodyguards on their election campaigning in volatile Bekkersdal.

The new Water and Sanitation Ministry will be headed by former Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane. File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu. Credit: Independent Newspapers

She was responding in the legislature after a DA request to set up a commission of inquiry into claims that the bodyguards fired live ammunition on March 13 at Bekkersdal residents who were protesting against the presence of the ANC officials in the


The DA’s John Moodey asked Mokonyane to explain why the VIP Protection Unit had accompanied the ANC officials.

He also wanted to know why the delegation had not withdrawn when residents protested, and whether Mokonyane would be establishing an inquiry into the use of firearms and live ammunition during the incident.

In her response, Mokonyane made a series of allegations against the DA, believing that the opposition’s questions were intended to “craft newspaper headlines”.

She also justified the presence of VIP guards, saying some of the ANC provincial heavyweights on the campaign trail in Bekkersdal were on her executive and therefore entitled to be under 24-hour guard.

“My bodyguards guarded Madame Helen Zille when her party marched to Luthuli House.

“They protected her.

“The VIPs are looking after cabinet members 24/7. They did that to Madame Zille,” Mokonyane said.