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27 Sep 2007 14:06
Western Cape police were involved in a plot to plant agents provocateurs within an organisation waging peaceful protest marches against drugs, Cape Town mayor Helen Zille said on Thursday.
Briefing the media in Cape Town, Zille, who recently participated in People against Drugs, Liquor and Crime (Padlac) marches, said she had information from intelligence sources confirming that police were intending to infiltrate Padlac in a bid to tarnish its image and damage her reputation in the process.
“I have, this morning [Thursday], again been informed that there are plans afoot to escalate this campaign, including the planting of agents provocateurs in the organisation following the end of Ramadaan, and that weapons will be distributed in order to escalate violence.
“From my past experience as an activist under apartheid, where I witnessed similar dirty-tricks campaigning, I have urged Padlac’s leadership to take urgent pre-emptive action,” she said.
Zille was criticised by provincial minister of community safety Leonard Ramatlakane on Wednesday for her involvement in Padlac marches.
The provincial minister described the group as a vigilante group.
Zille dismissed this, saying: “This is a generalised smear campaign of the kind reminiscent of apartheid, when anyone who criticised the government was a communist or a terrorist.
“It is sad that ... Ramatlakane is spending so much time and energy on fighting with peaceful members of the community, and with me, instead of seeing us as partners in the bid to reduce drug dealing and abuse.
Ramatlakane has claimed that 12 suspects arrested in connection with last weekend’s vigilante attacks in Mitchells Plain were members of Delta Force security company, which has links to Padlac.
Zille disputed this, saying Delta Force had closer links with the police as most of its members were police reservists.
“It is not part of Padlac’s leadership but a separate operation and entity,” Zille said.
However, the Democratic Alliance leader said she has informed Padlac leaders that should there be any evidence linking the organisation to any criminal activities, she would not only distance herself from it, she would condemn the organisation in public.—Sapa
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