Spooks warn vi­o­lence is a threat to elec­tions

ANC’s nom­i­na­tions process placed free and fair elec­tions at risk There will be ‘grounds to chal­lenge elec­toral re­sults’ Po­lice told to pro­tect Union Build­ings, min­is­ters’ homes

CityPress - - Front Page - ABRAM MASHEGO and POLOKO TAU abram.mashego@city­press.co.za poloko.tau@city­press.co.za

An in­tel­li­gence re­port, handed to Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma this week, re­veals that the coun­try’s spies be­lieve that vi­o­lence sparked by the ANC’s nom­i­na­tions process has placed free and fair elec­tions at risk. The re­port, pre­sented to Zuma by State Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter David Mahlobo on Tues­day, re­veals that the elec­tions risk be­ing “dele­git­imised” af­ter vi­o­lence and protests associated with the nom­i­na­tions ig­nited in 80 wards and towns across all nine prov­inces.

“Wide­spread dis­rup­tions will pro­vide grounds to chal­lenge elec­toral re­sults,” the re­port says.

In ad­di­tion to the state se­cu­rity re­port, an­other in­tel­li­gence re­port, which City Press has seen – this one au­thored by the po­lice’s crime in­tel­li­gence unit – re­veals that, while fiery protests raged in Tsh­wane this week, po­lice were told to fo­cus on pro­tect­ing the Union Build­ings, min­is­ters’ homes and na­tional key points in the cap­i­tal.

That re­port, compiled af­ter a high-level meet­ing at the po­lice’s Maupa Naga build­ing in Pretoria on Wed­nes­day morn­ing, re­veals that the pres­i­den­tial pro­tec­tion ser­vice learnt of a threat to at­tack the Union Build­ings late on Tues­day.

The state se­cu­rity re­port, ti­tled Do­mes­tic Sta­bil­ity Assess­ment, was also pre­sented to the jus­tice, crime pre­ven­tion and se­cu­rity clus­ter of min­istries – headed by De­fence Min­is­ter No­siviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and which also in­cludes Po­lice Min­is­ter Nathi Nh­leko and Jus­tice Min­is­ter Michael Ma­sutha.

The re­port re­veals that the coun­try’s in­tel­li­gence ser­vices have pro­jected that vi­o­lence is likely to es­ca­late be­fore the elec­tions on Au­gust 3 – and con­tinue there­after.

“Vi­o­lent protest ac­tion associated with the nom­i­na­tion process within the rul­ing party and other in­ci­dents of in­tol­er­ance, as well as vi­o­lent protest ac­tion over lack of ser­vice de­liv­ery, have been noted in

a num­ber of ar­eas,” the re­port states.

Grounds to chal­lenge polls

The re­port has found that the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion and po­lit­i­cal par­ties are likely to be pre­vented from en­ter­ing af­fected ar­eas. It goes on to re­veal that “un­hap­pi­ness” with ANC nom­i­na­tion lists has been “de­tected in all prov­inces, but are more in­tense in KwaZu­luNatal”. In KwaZulu-Natal, at least 50 wards are un­happy with their nom­i­nees – in­clud­ing five wards in Nkandla, Zuma’s home town. In eThek­wini alone, 19 wards are un­happy with their can­di­dates. North West and Gaut­eng are the sec­ond worstaf­fected prov­inces, while Mpumalanga and Western Cape res­i­dents have demon­strated the least. In Gaut­eng this week, res­i­dents of At­teridgeville, Ham­man­skraal and Mamelodi were un­happy with the nom­i­na­tion of Thoko Didiza as mayor, but they were not alone in the prov­ince. Those in wards in Ler­a­tong, Tshep­isong, Davey­ton and Se­bo­keng were un­happy with theirs, too.

ANC deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral Jessie Duarte this week ac­knowl­edged that the party’s can­di­date se­lec­tion process was prob­lem­atic and would be re­viewed. She said the party learnt its les­sons from the fights this year and would en­ter­tain pro­pos­als to come up with a more ef­fec­tive process.

The state se­cu­rity re­port states that by Tues­day, about 20 cases of pub­lic vi­o­lence, theft and ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty were un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. It also re­veals that 730 po­lice per­son­nel were work­ing on the crisis, 226 of whom came from the city’s Metro Po­lice, and the rest from the SA Po­lice Ser­vice’s crime in­tel­li­gence, pub­lic or­der polic­ing, vis­i­ble polic­ing, fly­ing squad, tac­ti­cal re­sponse team, fixed air wing, he­li­copter and dog units.

The re­port con­cludes that a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion is re­quired. “In­sta­bil­ity re­lat­ing to the nom­i­na­tion process should be el­e­vated to prin­ci­pals for their ac­tion or in­ter­ven­tion.”

Siphiwe Dlamini, spokesper­son for the jus­tice, crime pre­ven­tion and se­cu­rity clus­ter, re­fused to com­ment on the re­port and re­ferred in­quiries to the pres­i­dency.

Pres­i­dency spokesper­son Bon­gani Ngqu­lunga did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment by the time of go­ing to press yes­ter­day.

Po­lice de­ployed

Mean­while, the Crime In­tel­li­gence Unit re­port compiled on Thurs­day, called Dis­rup­tive Ac­tion Tsh­wane, re­vealed that an­gry pro­test­ers were plan­ning to march on the Union Build­ings.

The re­port, and a se­nior source present at the meet­ing at which it was dis­cussed, re­vealed it was agreed that more po­lice of­fi­cers be al­lo­cated to pro­tect the Union Build­ings, min­is­ters’ homes, power sta­tions and wa­ter reser­voirs in the city.

The plan was agreed to by disas­ter man­age­ment au­thor­i­ties, the pres­i­den­tial pro­tec­tion ser­vice, the pub­lic or­der polic­ing unit, Tsh­wane metro po­lice and Tsh­wane clus­ter po­lice sta­tions.

The crime in­tel­li­gence re­port rec­om­mended that min­is­ters’ houses be guarded around the clock by po­lice, and that pa­trols by even more po­lice of­fi­cers be stepped up out­side their res­i­dences.

The plan, how­ever, did not dis­cuss safe­guard­ing any gov­ern­ment build­ings or res­i­dents of Tsh­wane.

A se­nior crime in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer, who at­tended the meet­ing, told City Press: “Some com­plained af­ter the meet­ing that it ap­peared more pri­or­ity was be­ing given to politi­cians’ safety than to that of or­di­nary cit­i­zens, but they were afraid to re­sist the di­rec­tive.”

City Press was told po­lice re­ceived in­for­ma­tion about pos­si­ble ring­leaders who may have in­sti­gated the vi­o­lence, and that sev­eral local ANC lead­ers were ques­tioned and had their phone data and call records ex­am­ined.

Those in­ter­viewed by the Hawks’ crimes against the state unit in­cluded a driv­ing school owner, who al­legedly sup­plied tyres and petrol for the pro­test­ers, as well as an­other ANC mem­ber, who al­legedly sup­plied food for pro­test­ers be­fore they went out on the streets.

“How­ever, there was no tan­gi­ble ev­i­dence that could war­rant their ar­rests,” said a se­nior Hawks of­fi­cer.

Out­num­bered

Of­fi­cers were hope­lessly out­num­bered in At­teridgeville, Mamelodi and Ham­man­skraal, where scores of busi­nesses were looted and more than 20 buses and trucks torched.

There were re­ports of po­lice run­ning out of rub­ber bul­lets, be­com­ing frus­trated and us­ing live am­mu­ni­tion.

Po­lice watch­dog Ipid is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the killing of one man with live am­mu­ni­tion at the scene of a loot­ing in Mabopane on Wed­nes­day night.

Ipid spokesper­son Rob­bie Raburabu said: “Po­lice al­lege com­mu­nity mem­bers were shoot­ing at them and they re­turned fire. Lots of po­lice bul­let car­tridges were found on the scene, but we are yet to es­tab­lish whether it was a po­lice bul­let that killed the de­ceased.” Po­lice re­fused to com­ment on the al­le­ga­tions. City Press saw of­fi­cers watch­ing help­lessly from the side­lines in ar­eas such as At­teridgeville, where they could not en­ter the town­ship, in­stead pa­trolling from the edges and from above in a he­li­copter.

One young­ster loot­ing a So­mali-owned spaza shop in Ga-Rankuwa seemed obliv­i­ous of the bat­tle over his city’s may­or­ship. “They say they want Sputla [in­cum­bent mayor Kgosientso Ramok­gopa] ... not the Zulu woman [ANC may­oral can­di­date Didiza].” Asked what party he would vote for, he replied, while on the run: “I will be vot­ing for the first time and I will just have to vote for the ANC.”

Gaut­eng po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Nox­olo Kweza said they con­ducted suc­cess­ful raids across Tsh­wane town­ships on Fri­day.

“Fur­ni­ture shops were among the looted busi­nesses and we re­cov­ered items like fridges and beds, as well as lots of Nike shoes be­lieved to have been stolen from the shop in At­teridgeville. Gro­ceries and some more cloth­ing items were also re­cov­ered,” she said.

“Com­mu­nity mem­bers were help­ful in di­rect­ing po­lice to houses where stolen items were stored, lead­ing to the ar­rest of 27 peo­ple.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.