DA Implemented VIP Protection Policy in Johannesburg “Irregular”

DA Implemented VIP Protection Policy in Johannesburg Irregular

The City of Johannesburg has recently faced scrutiny over its VIP protection policies, which were originally implemented during the tenure of former Democratic Alliance (DA) mayor, Herman Mashaba. Mlimandlela Ndamase, spokesperson for the City of Joburg, characterized these measures as “irregular” in a discussion with eNCA.

Policy Origins and Criticisms

According to Ndamase, the protection protocols enjoyed by former DA members are now under criticism by the same group. These policies, he noted, were expanded beyond traditional norms between 2016 and 2021, encompassing not just the mayor and the speaker but the entire mayoral committee and executive leadership, without a formal policy to back them up.

“It is in 2016 with the change of administration and the coming in of mayor Mashaba that the Democratic Alliance felt, and unilaterally without any policy in place, decided to introduce protection for the entire mayoral committee and the executive leadership of the city,” explained Ndamase.

He emphasized that the objective of the newly proposed policy is to ensure security services are provided based on a risk-threat analysis conducted by the SA Police Service, targeting only those truly in need of such protection.

Current Administration’s Stance

The current administration, led by Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda, views the existing level of VIP protection as excessive and unwarranted. Ndamase expressed that the intention is to reallocate these resources to enhance the city’s capability to combat crime.

“This particular administration is now saying you cannot do that but you must make sure that whoever is given protection it is done on the basis of a threat-assessment which means if there is no threat against you – as I believe many in the previous administration quite frankly had no threats – there is no need for us to provide you protection,” stated Ndamase.

Security Detail and Media Reports

Contrary to recent media reports suggesting an increase in the security detail surrounding Mayor Gwamanda, Ndamase clarified that the mayor’s security has not been enhanced beyond the standards set by his predecessors, Mpho Phalatse and Herman Mashaba.

“The mayor does not travel in a convoy of five or ten cars. He is just a mayor of Johannesburg and he is a servant of the residents of Johannesburg. Even this action of trying to rectify the (VIP protection) policy, it is to ensure that we are able to divert resources that are currently used, back to the residents of Johannesburg,” he said.

Furthermore, Ndamase refuted the claims of an exorbitant monthly expense of R3 million for the protection of council members, asserting that the city does not employ private security for these roles but rather utilizes salaried JMPD officers.

The discussions and revisions around the VIP protection policy in Johannesburg highlight the ongoing efforts to balance necessary security measures with responsible resource management, aiming to redirect funds towards broader public safety and service needs.

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Written by Siphiwe Dlamini

Name: Siphiwe Dlamini
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Journalist and Political Analyst

Siphiwe Dlamini is a dynamic and passionate journalist and political analyst based in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a unique blend of academic expertise and practical experience, Siphiwe has established himself as a trusted voice in the field of journalism, particularly in political reporting and analysis.

Siphiwe holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, where he honed his skills in investigative reporting, news writing, and multimedia storytelling. Additionally, he pursued a degree in Political Science, deepening his understanding of political systems, international relations, and policy analysis. This interdisciplinary educational background equips him with a comprehensive understanding of the socio-political landscape, enabling him to provide insightful commentary on current affairs.

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