/ 13 January 2011

Decision pending on Winnie bodyguard incident

Decision Pending On Winnie Bodyguard Incident

The senior state prosecutor will decide how to proceed on the alleged fracas between two policemen and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s bodyguards, police said on Thursday.

Gauteng spokesperson Colonel Neville Malila said: “The alleged allegations were reported to the South African Police Service and are currently under investigation.”

This follows reports that a vehicle transporting the ex-wife of former president Nelson Mandela was stopped by police on the M1 north on December 30, allegedly for speeding.

An argument between the bodyguards and policemen is alleged to have ensued. The bodyguards have laid a complaint with police of pointing a firearm and intimidation. The policemen face an internal investigation.

Malila said the complainants in this case were the bodyguards, not Madikizela-Mandela.

In line with the police’s internal disciplinary regulations the officers were temporally transferred until the investigation was concluded. They also had to hand in their guns.

“Due to the fact that the criminal charges are firearm-related, members were requested to hand in their firearms pending the outcome of the investigation.”

The Star reported that according to a statement by one bodyguard, Jacob Monare, Odendaal and colleague Philemon Buthelezi showed no mercy after they were stopped for speeding to get Madikizela-Mandela to a funeral.

When the ANC MP got out of the car to intervene, policeman Jannie Odendaal allegedly pointed at her and used an expletive to order her back into the car.

Odendaal told the publication he was pushed by a man who climbed out of the car after they had pulled them over.

Comment was not immediately available from Madikizela-Mandela’s office. — Sapa