Over 10 years‚ police reported only two VIP security breaches — and neither was the poisoning of then-president Jacob Zuma in 2014.
In a report on the government’s 6‚600-strong private army of VIP protectors that he says costs R2.6-billion a year‚ Gareth van Onselen says he combed through South African Police Service annual reports between 2007/08 and 2016/17 looking for evidence of threats to VIPs.
In 2010/11‚ “one security breach occurred during the second quarter while protecting a South African VIP at Tshwane University of Technology”.
And in 2011/12‚ “a security breach occurred at Danielskuil in the Northern Cape in respect of the protection of an MEC”.
Van Onselen‚ whose report was published by the South African Institute of Race Relations‚ said this was “difficult to reconcile with the public record”‚ because as recently as August and November 2017 Zuma had confirmed being poisoned.
Onselen quoted Zuma – who has 88 protectors‚ according to the report – as saying in August: “I was poisoned and almost died just because South Africa joined Brics under my leadership.
They said I was going to destroy the country.
“I nearly died because they did poison me.
They managed to find someone close to me and I know it.
I was dead. They don’t believe how I survived. Not one dose‚ because the person who was poisoning me was so innocent‚ so close. Three doses.
Even scientists can’t believe why I did not die.”
In November‚ said Van Onselen‚ Zuma told ANN7: “I was poisoned‚ some people wanted me dead‚ indeed it was quite a strong poison and I did go through a challenging time.”
Van Onselen points out that the 2014 SAPS annual report said “no security breaches occurred” in relation the presidential protection services.
“By the president’s own admission‚ however‚ security … was clearly violated. There was‚ in June 2014‚ an attempted assassination of the president by poison‚ which was successfully administered to the president and which‚ by his own account‚ resulted in severe physical harm‚ a medical emergency and ultimately in his near death.”
The IRR report said First Lady Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma was being investigated by the Hawks for allegedly poisoning Zuma‚ though she had not been charged and had denied guilt.
“If there is any truth to the suspicion that the First Lady was involved‚ that would constitute a double breach — for she‚ just like the president‚ is protected by the presidential protection services‚” says Van Onselen.
“Likewise‚ if there is any truth to the president’s assertion that the attempt followed his policy on Brics‚ it constitutes an intensely political attack and‚ simultaneously‚ a failure of the intelligence services.”
NUDE PROTEST!!! Gugu Ncube to appear in court on Thursday
Gugu Ncube is expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate Court on Thursday, after staging a nude protest at Unisa on Wednesday.
Ncube said she was protesting naked because “nudity is a sign of my dignity that l have been stripped of”.
This refers to allegations that she was “unlawfully manhandled” at Unisa for reporting her boss to the university. She alleged that her boss was asking for sexual favours in exchange for her job.
Ncube donned black underwear and a red top, holding a placard in front of her, when she was arrested.
Unisa said the matter was between her and Unisa Centre for Early Childhood Education (UCECE), an external company that was previously sponsored by Unisa.
The university further said it followed due processes regarding Ncube’s sexual harassment complaint in 2018, and suspended its staff members who were accused of the crime. The accused were board members at UCECE at the time.
(Compiled by Nica Schreuder)
Outage hits Facebook and Instagram users worldwide
Facebook and Instagram users lost access to the social network’s applications in parts of the world Wednesday as a result of an outage of undetermined origin.
The California giant which has more than two billion users acknowledged the outage after users noted on Twitter they could not access Facebook or had limited functionality.
“We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” a Facebook statement said on Twitter.
A short time later, Facebook indicated the outage was not related to an attack aimed at overwhelming the network.
“We’re focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack,” Facebook said, referring to what is known as a distributed denial of service cyber strike.
According to the website downdetector.com, outages were heaviest in North America and Europe, but some users appeared to be affected in other regions.
Last November, a Facebook outage was attributed to a server problem and a September 2018 outage was said to be the result of “networking issues.”
“It could have been my own child back home’!!! ‘Alex Hero’ Vincent Cosa speaks
Vincent Cosa not only risked his life rescuing a boy stuck halfway on a pipe over the furious Jukskei River in Alexandra township in Johannesburg, but he later stood up for him when his parents wanted to give him a hiding.
Cosa believes it was an “honest mistake” by the young boy, who found himself there because he usually saw children playing in the area.
“I see children play there all the time and when I saw him there, I could not fold my hands and watch from the sidelines. I told myself if he dies I will die with him,” he said.
“He was sitting there crying in fear…I looked at him and thought of my own children…It could have been my own child.”
He could be seen in the video using his hands to move over a bulk pipe towards the stranded child.
When he reached him, he convinced the child to get on his back, before carrying him to safety the same way over the pipe, amid cheers and encouragement from onlookers on a nearby bridge.
Cosa not only brought the young boy safely to the riverbank, but went on to talk his parents out of punishing the child, someone he never knew previously, but risked his own life for.
Cosa said the boy’s parents “did not say much, but they wanted to punish him” and he stood against it.
“I believe his was an honest mistake… and he probably got stuck there as the flash flood came.”
When asked what pushed him to take a risk to save the boy, Cosa said he “just had to”.
His hope is that the young boy remembers “that I saved his life”, adding the child “could be a nurse or president tomorrow”.
This man needs a medal for bravery: he rescued a child in Alexandra JHB (Jukskei River). WATCH pic.twitter.com/kxSebpZoj9
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) March 9, 2019