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Quite a strongman in regional politics, it looks now that the beefing up of his security was a decision taken because of threats on his life but also it happens three days after the chaotic ANCYL congress in Badplaas that left an MKMVA member dead and one of the mayor’s two bodyguards arrested.
The Democratic Alliance says they were outnumbered when a resolution to appoint a private security company to provide extra bodyguards to Gert Sibande mayor Muzi Chirwa was passed.
The resolution was passed during a special council sitting on 30 May 2018 – just three days after the Gert Sibande ANCYL regional congress in Badplaas that saw MKMVA member Samson Madonsela shot dead. Chirwa’s personal bodyguard Phelele Shongwe, who is also an MKMVA member and who was there to provide security to the conference with other veterans, was arrested and later released by the court on R10 000 bail.
DA councillor in the Gert Sibande district municipality, Muso Kubheka, says Chirwa now has five bodyguards and a company called NJS Security was appointed.
“We said why don’t we take that money and improve service delivery rather than beefing up the mayor’s security.
“We were outnumbered by ANC councillors. They supported the report which said that there are a number of service delivery protests and the mayor should be protected because he receives death threats through his cellphone. We rejected this request,” Kubheka said.
Chirwa previously had two guards since his election as mayor in August 2016 but it now seems NJS Security has provided the three extra guards.
The Gert Sibande district municipality has 19 seats, 14 of which were won by the ANC, DA 3 and EFF 2.
Kubheka said the DA was the only party that opposed the request to beef up Chirwa’s bodyguards and “it was on record”.
A screenshot of a piece of paper seen by the 013NEWS reporter a week ago shows that NJS Security will charge the district municipality about R262 000 monthly, appointed “in emergency” to provide “personal security to the Executive Mayor on an urgent basis,” it reads.
Chirwa’s spokesman Lungisizwe Mkhwanazi didn’t answer e-mailed questions.
(edited by ZK)
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