COPE lays criminal charges over Dlamini-Zuma protection saga

The Congress of the People has laid criminal charges against Police Minister Fikile Mbalula over the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma protection debacle.

The party‚ which laid the charges at the Garsfontein Police Station in Pretoria on Sunday morning‚ contends that Mbalula contravened the Presidential Protection directive by giving Dlamini-Zuma protection she is not entitled to.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the ANCWL 12th national conference held at the St George Hotel in Irene near Pretoria this week

This follows reports that Dlamini-Zuma was driven and escorted to an ANC meeting in Sasolburg in the Free State on Thursday by the Presidential Protection Unit (PPU).

“COPE reported Mbalula to the Police for the abuse of power. In terms of the Presidential Protection Unit’s mandate‚ the protection is provided to the president and deputy president of the country including former presidents‚ foreign heads of state and their spouses‚” COPE spokesman Dennis Bloem said.

He added that Dlamini-Zuma did not fall in this category of people qualifying for the treatment.

“She was only the Chairperson of the African Union and not president of any state‚ and therefore does not qualify to deserve the Presidential treatment‚ protection and privileges that she enjoys at present.

“In the light of these serious violations of the law‚ in our view the Minister of Police has acted illegally and against the mandate of the PPU by giving a civilian like Dlamini-Zuma the protection.

“We are saying this is a blatant abuse of the state resources and also an abuse of tax payers’ money. We therefore view this as a serious criminal offence‚” Bloem stated.

He added that COPE had urged the police on Sunday to hand over this investigation to the Hawks.