Cops have Malema in sights

Body­guard’s weapons tested af­ter Durban raid

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - NABEELAH SHAIKH

EFF leader Julius Malema and his body­guard face the pos­si­bil­ity of ar­rest if po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­firm Malema fired a gun at the party’s fifth birth­day cel­e­bra­tions in East Lon­don last month.

Hawks spokesper­son Bri­gadier Hang­wani Mu­laudzi said a multi-dis­ci­plinary team had been tasked to look into the mat­ter and the Hawks had been re­quested to as­sist.

“The case is be­ing led by de­tec­tives and not the Hawks,” said Mu­laudzi.

It is a crim­i­nal of­fence to dis­charge a a firearm in a built-up or pub­lic area with­out suf­fi­cient rea­son.

Last week po­lice raided a Durban prop­erty be­long­ing to Adri­aan Sny­man, Malema’s per­sonal body­guard, af­ter Sny­man was caught on cam­era be­ing handed what ap­pears to be an au­to­matic ri­fle by Malema af­ter Malema fired shots into the air.

Malema later played down the in­ci­dent, say­ing it had been a “toy gun”.

Po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and gun rights ac­tivists have la­belled Malema’s be­hav­iour at the rally “reck­less” and called for ac­tion against both men.

Mem­bers of the Eastern Cape Pro­vin­cial De­tec­tives and the Hawks, along with a tac­ti­cal re­sponse team, raided the head­quar­ters of Sny­man’s pri­vate security com­pany, Tac­ti­cal Security Ser­vices, on the Bluff in Durban last Satur­day.

Po­lice seized 12 ri­fles, which have been sent to a bal­lis­tics test­ing cen­tre in Port El­iz­a­beth.

It is be­lieved bul­let car­tridges were gath­ered at the venue at which the birth­day bash was held.

Po­lice are now try­ing to es­tab­lish whether the car­tridges match the guns be­long­ing to Sny­man’s com­pany.

A po­lice source said Malema would have to be ar­rested if ev­i­dence proved he had fired the ri­fle.

Malema’s as­so­ci­a­tion with Sny­man’s com­pany dates back to 2011, when Sny­man was seen at the side of the politi­cian dur­ing his var­i­ous ap­pear­ances at the Gaut­eng High Court over his “Shoot the boer” hate speech ut­ter­ances.

Black First Land First has laid charges against Sny­man, claim­ing he was the one re­spon­si­ble for hand­ing Malema the gun and should be in­ves­ti­gated and ar­rested for his ac­tions.

Lobby group AfriFo­rum has laid charges against Malema and said they had re­ported Sny­man to the Pri­vate Security Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity (PSIRA).

BLF deputy pres­i­dent Zanele Lwana said with­out Sny­man, Malema would not have had ac­cess to the ri­fle.

“The ri­fle was real and was used in a very reck­less man­ner. Sny­man must be fully in­ves­ti­gated for the neg­li­gent use of a firearm. He runs a big security operation. Po­lice need to en­sure that they check that ev­ery firearm found on his prop­erty is prop­erly li­censed. He has en­dan­gered the lives of peo­ple who at­tended the cel­e­bra­tion,” said Lwana.

AfriFo­rum spokesper­son Natasha Ven­ter said the or­gan­i­sa­tion had laid charges which in­clude: dis­charg­ing a firearm in a built-up or pub­lic area with­out suf­fi­cient rea­son; the pos­ses­sion of a firearm and am­mu­ni­tion with­out the nec­es­sary li­cence and au­thor­ity; and di­rect­ing a firearm or ob­ject that can be con­cluded to be a firearm at a per­son with­out suf­fi­cient rea­son.

“Malema once again con­firms that his modus operandi in­volves act­ing bla­tantly and with­out re­spect for any leg­is­la­tion or ju­di­cial au­thor­ity. As leader of a po­lit­i­cal party, this be­hav­iour is reck­less, see­ing as his sup­port­ers can pos­si­bly em­u­late his con­duct and con­tempt for the law. His be­hav­iour comes down to the blatant in­cite­ment of peo­ple and sim­ply can­not pass un­pun­ished,” said Ven­ter.

Sny­man said he knew noth­ing about the raid, de­spite sources within the po­lice con­firm­ing that he had been on the prop­erty for the du­ra­tion of the seizure operation.

When asked whether he was aware of the charges laid against him by the BLF and the com­plaint AfriFo­rum laid with the PSIRA, Sny­man replied: “I do not fol­low id­iots.”

Adele Kirsten, a di­rec­tor at Gun Free South Africa, said the law was clear that an in­di­vid­ual may not lend a ri­fle that is li­censed in his or her name, to some­one else.

PIC­TURE: IAN LANDSBERG/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY(ANA)

Bleu the York­shire ter­rier en­joys a run on Muizen­berg beach yes­ter­day.

Julius Malema

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