African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema cost taxpayers more than R886 000 for police bodyguards, it emerged on Tuesday.
In a written reply to a parliamentary question by Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the VIP protection was provided from October 23 last year to October 11 this year.
Two close protectors at a time were provided, and the cost totalled R886 668,54, he said.
In a statement issued later, Groenewald said taxpayers and ordinary citizens had to fork out millions of rands annually to ensure their own private security and safety.
It could rightfully be asked what the exception was in Malema’s case that the police had to provide him with the security of two bodyguards. Malema did not hold any public office and it was strange that, when he had still “been in the good books” of President Jacob Zuma, he had been given this kind of protection.
Now that Malema had “fallen in disfavour”, his safety was certainly in greater danger, but the protection was removed. It proved that Malema’s safety had never been in any danger, but that it had rather “elevated his status” to have two police guards.
Groenewald said the ANCYL should pay the money back to the state. — Sapa