Security beefed up at ANC KZN headquarters after top official pointed with firearm
Durban - After several years of lax security at the ANC's KwaZulu-Natal provincial headquarters in central Durban, the party has stepped up security at the building.
In November last year, a there was an alarming incident inside the provincial offices when former eMalahleni regional chairperson, Arthur Zwane, stormed a meeting of the provincial working committee and pointed a firearm at Sipho Hlomuka, the provincial deputy secretary, only to be overpowered by some party leaders.
Hlomuka, who had a firearm pointed at him, is also the MEC for the department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs
On Thursday it appeared the party had installed top of the range security measures and the latest metal scanners at the main entrance of the office complex. Also, the private security contractor on site was also installing several modern surveillance cameras and fingerprint scanners.
In the past, people, including journalists, who frequent the office complex, used to walk in and out without being checked for guns and knives.
Zwane's brandishing of a firearm at Hlomuka is now subject to criminal investigation at the Durban Magistrates Court. Police are investigating a case of pointing a firearm after the alleged incident.
The court granted Zwane R1000 bail and he will return to court on February 18.
At the time, insiders attributed Zwane’s ability to get into building with a gun to lax security at the door. Sources alleged that the incident prompted the party to undertake security tightening measures at the provincial HQ.
However, the party told Independent Media on the sidelines of a media briefing on Thursday that beefing up security had nothing to do with the alleged incident.
The party's provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, said the security upgrades were planned long before the incident and said it was a mere "coincidence" that they carried it out.
"It has nothing to do with the incident that occurred here. That incident that occurred happened to be coincident in terms of what we were planning to do. There is quite a lot of renovations that are taking place and are still to take place. And part of that, of course, is security arrangement, because you cannot have an office where people simply walk in and all the way to the second floor (where there are the main offices for the party and its leagues) without having been detected, what is it that they are carrying, who are they, there is no proper admin that registers people who are arriving," Ntuli said.
The renovation process is likely to take weeks and Ntuli said this was planned at the July 2018 provincial conference in Durban.