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‘Security in place for good reason’

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ANC flag

Independent Newspapers

Photo: Phill Magakoe.

Security measures at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, where the ANC is holding its national conference have been put in place for good reason, spokesman Jackson Mthembu said on Saturday.

“For any of our events we ensure everybody who is part of the event is safe guarded properly,” Mthembu told reporters.

“We don't leave security of conferences to chance. It's in our DNA.”

Mthembu said it was not because of any specific risk or incidents.

Security at the University had been beefed up over night.

Members of the media were scheduled to have a meeting with organisers on Saturday morning but on arrival they were refused entrance onto the campus.

Reporters had to park their cars outside campus and walk.

All entrances to the university were guarded by police officers.

Police at the entrances said cars needed to be searched and checked at the Tempe military base. Each vehicle would then receive a clearance sticker which would allow them access to the campus.

Service providers and ambulances were also turned away because they did not have clearance stickers.

When motorists arrived at the university gates on Saturday afternoon, they were also denied entry.

This was after waiting a few hours in a kilometre long line at the military base.

Mthembu said officials were looking at the details of that arrangement.

There was a heavy police presence around the campus.

Certain areas, some designated for commissions to discuss policies, had been cordoned off with barbed wire.

There were about 12 police nyalas situated around the university and a number of public order policing vehicles.

The African National Congress' conference starts on Sunday morning. - Sapa


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