Winnie, cop fallout gets messy

Police seized a service pistol and cellphone belonging to Warrant Officer Jannie Odendaal, the police officer who had an altercation with African National Congress (ANC) veteran Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, reports said on Thursday.

“Nobody can tell me what is going on and if I have been suspended or not,” Odendaal told Beeld.

Madikizela-Mandela’s bodyguards reportedly laid a complaint against Odendaal after he and a colleague stopped Madikizela-Mandela’s car on the M1 North in Johannesburg on December 30 because it was allegedly being driven recklessly at 150km/h.

The officers said they believed the silver Audi A6 with tinted windows was “suspicious”.

But after stopping the vehicle, a bodyguard got out and told Odendaal Madikizela-Mandela was in the car.

Heated exchange
A heated exchange followed, and Madikizela-Mandela alleged yelled at Odendaal: “Who the fuck do you think you are?” according to the Times.

The Star, quoting bodyguard Jacob Monare, said Odendaal told the ANC national executive member and Member of Parliament: “I don’t give a fuck who you are, you get back to the fucking car.”

Madikizela-Mandela has demanded an apology, but Odendaal told Beeld: “I think she should apologise to me.”

The Times said Odendaal and his partner now faced charges of pointing a firearm and disciplinary action.

Both the Times and Beeld reported on Thursday that Odendaal’s service pistol was confiscated on Wednesday morning, after the incident made news headlines and sparked criticism from several opposition parties.

Odendaal, who lives in Brakpan, has since been transferred to the Soweto police station, while his partner, who lives in Soweto, has been transferred to the East Rand.—Sapa

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