Police Minister Bheki Cele has lifted the lid on the circumstances surrounding Deputy President Paul Mashatile when members of his VIP protection service were allegedly involved in the assault of three people on the N1 in Johannesburg in July.
Cele said Mashatile was part of the convoy, but he did not witness the incident, as he was already at home when the alleged assault happened.
He said the eight members of the VIP protection service had pulled away from the main convoy to deal with the members of the South African National Defence who were on the N1.
Mashatile’s security detail was caught on camera assaulting the three people.
Members of the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on police on Wednesday demanded answers from Cele and members of the SAPS on the assault case.
They said it appeared that some police officers acted as if they were above the law.
EFF MP Vusi Khoza, Okkie Terblanche from the DA, IFP MP Zandile Majozi and ACDP leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe said they will not allow the matter to be swept under the carpet and the eight VIP protection must face the law.
They wanted to know if Mashatile was part of the convoy because one of the VIP members told the court during the bail application that the deputy president was in the convoy.
They said this raises questions because Mashatile had insisted that he was nowhere near the incident.
Cele said Mashatile had been part of the convoy, but the two cars from the eight VIP members pulled away from the main convoy to deal with the incident.
“The convoy of the deputy president normally has seven cars. There will be six from SAPS and one from SANDF and usually that is a medical car.
“The deputy president was in the convoy, but was not on the crime scene where two of his cars pulled off to deal with that matter. (When I spoke) to him, he (said) realised at home that there were two cars that peeled off. (He) did not know until he was told later that that incident has happened.
“That is a question about the presence of the deputy president on that particular day. Seven cars, two peeled off, which means five continued. It can be explained in court what was the impact of that peeling off and what made them to peel off when the rest of the convoy was driving forward,” said Cele.
SAPS national commissioner Fannie Masemola said they condemn the incident in the strongest terms possible.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) head, Dikeledi Ntlatseng said their investigations were at an advanced stage.
But they are working closely with the National Prosecuting Authority as the matter was now in court.
She said it was out of their hands.
Ntlatseng said they will not be able to answer some of the questions from parliamentarians because the case was sub judice.
The eight VIP protection service members were granted bail last month and are expected to appear in court in September.