MEC flays IFP and DA over VIP protection shooting

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for social development Meshack Radebe has lambasted the IFP and DA for using an incident involving his VIP protection team for political point-scoring.

Constable Hlanganani Nxumalo, 28, allegedly shot the tyre of a Mazda that did not move out of the fast lane in the Midlands. The Mazda was allegedly hogging the lane on the N3 on Saturday.

After the tyre was hit the driver of the Mazda allegedly lost control of the vehicle, veered into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a bakkie.

Nxumalo is expected to apply for bail today.

"The accident happened 37km from my home," Radebe said. "I was waiting for Premier S'bu Ndebele because we had an engagement in Molweni, where a storm had caused severe damage," said Radebe..

"For the IFP and DA to start calling for my head does not make sense because I was not involved."

He labelled IFP leader Lionel Mtshali a "comedian".

"I do not take Mtshali seriously because even his party does not take him seriously," he said.

Radebe said the IFP and DA had no strategy to mobilise for the elections, that is why they had turned to the recent accident involving his VIP protection team.

He said when he heard about the accident he took Nxumalo to the police station.

"I phoned the provincial commissioner and MEC seeking advice. I do not understand what else the IFP and DA wanted me to do. I'm glad no life was lost in the accident."

Radebe said he would meet the injured people this week about the accident.

"I know that even their families need counseling after this trauma. We will dispatch a psychologist to help them."

Mtshali said the IFP contends that the recent shooting incident and the "ministerial arrogance that has crowned it" show that the government does not respect the citizens.

There is mounting resistance in the government to parliamentary oversight and media scrutiny," he said.

He argued that while the budget for VIP protection services for public office bearers had grown by a staggering 184percent since 2003, the budget for police services available to ordinary citizens had been increased by only 56percent.