Outrage over 8 bodyguards for councillor

THE DA in KwaZulu-Natal is alarmed after it discovered that a councillor of the Umvoti municipality is being protected by eight bodyguards for R70000 a month.

But police have defended the move, saying it is in line with legislation.

The councillor, Philani Mavundla, is also the ANC's Bhambatha regional chairperson.

DA member of the provincial legislature Radley Keys said the total cost, calculated on November 3 last month, for the service was R218440.

"This information forms part of a parliamentary reply to questions submitted by the DA.

"According to the reply, the guards were deployed to a local councillor on 22 July this year.

"It is incomprehensible that one councillor be permitted eight bodyguards, particularly when the costs are so exorbitant," he said.

Keys said the same councillor had been implicated in an earlier arson attack, where R2million worth of items had been destroyed.

"The SAPS have confirmed that security is only provided if there is a threat to a councillor's life," said Keys.

"Whatever the circumstances, it is extremely difficult to justify so many bodyguards for one person.

"The DA calls on community safety and liaison MEC Willies Mchunu to investigate the issue and put an end to this."

Umvoti mayor Petros Ngubane said he was not aware that Mavundla had eight bodyguards.

But, Ngubane said the council was not paying for the guards.

"He had asked for the municipality to provide him with security, but the council told him that we couldn't afford it," Ngubane said.

He said Mavundla was perhaps paying from his pocket.

Provincial police spokesperson Director Phindile Radebe said the volatile situation in Greytown had prompted the police to provide Mavundla with the bodyguards.