Johannesburg – The video of two gun-toting bodyguards assigned to African National Congress (ANC) eThekwini region secretary Bheki Ntuli was an unfortunate incident that fed perceptions of KwaZulu-Natal being unstable, according to ANC provincial secretary Super Zuma.
“You can’t play with guns, even if it is done in what looks like a joking manner,” Zuma told the African News Agency (ANA) on Friday morning.
Zuma said that he would be meeting with Ntuli on Friday to get more clarity on the matter, including which security company the guards belonged to. Ntuli has refused to make the name of the company public.
The video started circulating on social media on Wednesday night and was picked up by the media on Thursday. It showed the bodyguards brandishing handguns and a rifle and saying: “It’s coming down for the dog, the dog will die today.”
Ntuli suspended the bodyguards on Thursday.
“It’s an unfortunate situation, something that we don’t want to see,” said Zuma.
“It feeds into the perception [of KwaZulu-Natal being violent and unstable]. We are trying very hard to stabilise the province and this doesn’t assist. It’s as if they were just playing, but you can’t play with guns,” he said.
The video has caused further damage to the provincial party, which has seen close on a dozen killings this year that are thought to be politically motivated.
Former ANC youth league secretary-general Sindiso Magaqa died on Monday, reportedly from wounds he sustained when he was shot multiple times in July. He was a PR councillor from uMzimkhulu at the time of the shooting. Two other councillors were shot along with Magaqa, but survived.
The KZN ANC has come under heavy criticism from witnesses testifying at the Moerane Commission, which was established last year to investigate political violence in the province.
The commission has heard testimony that much of the violence and the political killings are linked to patronage networks and a desire for political power and greed.
Zuma said on Thursday that the party would appear before the commission “to provide the commission with our interpretation and analysis on the current killings of our people”.