Luthuli House Arson: Where was police protecting former deputy president?

John Moodey MPL

Provincial Leader

The suspected arson attempt draws into question the effectiveness of the continued heavy visible policing presence around the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg CBD.

The DA is deeply concerned that the attempt, believed to be linked to an explosive device of sorts, could take place despite the heavy police presence to protect a former deputy president.

According to a response to my question Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko indicated that a heavy police presence, including Nyalas and occasional road closures in the vicinity, was necessary to protect former Deputy President Baleka Mbete.

The MEC further indicated that Luthuli House has seen by far the longest “temporary” static stationed Nyala in the province, with the vehicle and officers having been deployed on the corner of Sauer and President streets since late October in 2010. An an added risk to Luthuli House is the illegal parking of vehicles in President Street in the no parking area in front of the building.

The indication from police spokesperson Neville Malila that police were notified around 18:30 makes one question what those stationed there were doing at the time and why they could not prevent it.

The DA will question the MEC on this incident in which possible police inefficiency potentially put the life of a former Deputy President at risk.