GUN-TOT­ING BODY­GUARDS IN THE FIR­ING LINE

Observer on Saturday - - News -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG -Two gun­tot­ing body­guards as­signed to pro­tect one of the ANC’s key lead­ers in KwaZulu-Natal should be crim­i­nally charged after they were caught on a threat­en­ing video bran­dish­ing firearms‚ in­clud­ing what looks like an AK-47 as­sault ri­fle‚ ex­perts said.

A vi­ral video of the two men — whom the ANC ad­mit­ted on Thurs­day were part of eThek­wini Re­gion Chair­man Bheki Ntuli’s se­cu­rity de­tail — shows them threat­en­ing to kill a “dog”.

The two men are seated in the front of a car and each of them is bran­dish­ing and cock­ing pis­tols‚ while the man in the driver’s seat pulls out and cocks what ap­pears to be an AK-47 as­sault ri­fle.

The source of the video is not known‚ but it has been cir­cu­lated widely on so­cial net­work­ing sites and was broad­cast by eNCA. The video was also sent to the Mo­er­ane Com­mis­sion‚ which is sit­ting in KwaZulu-Natal to in­ves­ti­gate po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence in the prov­ince. The com­mis­sion sec­re­tary con­firmed re­ceiv­ing and watch­ing the video‚ but did not com­ment fur­ther.

In the video one of the men is heard say­ing in isiZulu: “It’s com­ing down for the dog to­day. The dog will die. B***. A***.”

Con­fir­ma­tion

The sec­ond man com­ments: “Ek sê‚ it’s go­ing down … it’s gonna go down for real to­day. How’s this now?” He then pulls out and cocks his ri­fle.

It is un­clear who or what the men are re­fer­ring to.

Ntuli said on Thurs­day that he wanted the men re­moved from his se­cu­rity de­tail ur­gently‚ and said their ac­tions were un­ac­cept­able.

“I can con­firm that we have spo­ken to the se­cu­rity firm and asked that they be with­drawn un­til an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is done. We also want to es­tab­lish when was the video recorded. The contents of the video are not ac­cept­able‚” he said in a brief phone call.

KwaZulu-Natal has been gripped by po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence. At least 10 peo­ple have been killed this year alone.

For­mer ANC Youth League Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Sindiso Ma­gaqa died on Mon­day‚ seem­ingly from in­juries sus­tained when he and two col­leagues from the Umz­imkhulu Mu­nic­i­pal­ity were shot at more than a dozen times in July. The two col­leagues sur­vived the shoot­ing.

Only a se­lect group of gun own­ers in South Africa — known as “Cat­e­gory A” col­lec­tors — are al­lowed to own orig­i­nal AK-47s‚ said Gun Own­ers South Africa chair­man Paul Ox­ley.

There were only about 200 such col­lec­tors in the coun­try‚ he said‚ and a small num­ber of them ac­tu­ally owned the Rus­sian-built au­to­matic ri­fles.

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