THE 25-year-old student arrested for "waving away" President Jacob Zuma's noisy, blue-light convoy last week "swore" at the president and resisted arrest, a spokesperson has said.
Spokesperson for the ministry of police Zweli Mnisi said Chumani Maxwele pointed his middle finger at the president's convoy. He said this gesture was synonymous with swearing and showing disrespect.
"No person is permitted to use foul language and swear at another individual, especially as such conduct may lead to promoting hate conduct in the Republic," said Mnisi.
Sowetan reported yesterday that Maxwele was arrested while jogging in De Waal Drive, Cape Town, last Wednesday. A black BMW pulled up and three men jumped out, allegedly pointing guns at him. He was then bundled into a car. A bag was pulled over his head and he was then allegedly first taken to Zuma's residence before being taken to the Mowbray policestation.
Maxwele, an active ANC member, was held for 24 hours and allegedly interrogated by intelligence agents.
He said his house was raided by plainclothed policemen while he was in custody. He was released before appearing in court.
Mnisi said Maxwele became aggressive when police stopped to question him about his actions. "He became aggressive and began to swear at them. They then arrested him, charged him with crimen injuria and resisting arrest.
"He was detained and later transferred to Mowbray police station, which has jurisdiction over the area of offence."
Mnisi, however, declined to comment on allegations that agents of the National Intelligence Agency raided Maxwele's house and interrogated him.
"We further need to clarify that the matter was handled solely by the police, as it forms part of our mandate of protecting all VIPs," said Mnisi.
Zuma's spokesperson Zizi Kodwa declined to comment, saying it was a "security issue". - Sapa