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Minister Chikunga suspects her robbery was an inside job

todayNovember 8, 2023 113

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Crime activist, Ian Cameron, says the recent attack on the Transport Minister and her blue light protection detail shows how vulnerable citizens are with regards to violent crimes.

Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga and her bodyguards were held at gunpoint on the N3 near Vosloorus on Monday.

It is reported that the suspects fled with two police service pistols and personal belongings.

The tyres of the Minister’s car are reported to have been punctured by spikes when they had to stop on the side of the road to attend to the incident.

Chikunga has told Parliament that the experience was traumatising and devastating.

She says her protectors couldn’t have done anything because the robbers came from behind and ordered that they lie on the floor.

“Just before I could get help, they opened the door and pointed a gun at my head and ordered me to come out. It was three well-dressed criminals.”

Chikunga says the criminals said to her: “We know you have money, give us money.”

She also detailed to Parliament how one of the robbers asked her who her protector was.

The Minister says she could not help, but pay attention to the language used by the robbers.

“Ordinary South Africans refer to protectors as bodyguards, you must be a Member of Parliament or a police member or somebody who works in government to know that the people that protect us are protectors, not bodyguards.”

Police Minister, Bheki Cele, has described the attack on the minister and her guards as a declaration of war on South Africans.

Cameron, who is well-known for not seeing eye to eye with Cele, has rejected the Minister’s utterances as despicable.

“The fact that he stands or comments as though he is simply a bystander, he should be ashamed. He is the one man who actually has the necessary power in hand to have a huge influence on combating violent crime.”

He says the Minister should be taking responsibility and bringing forth action plans and strategies to deal with crime in the country.

Lobby group, Afriforum, has shared the same sentiments as Cameron, accusing Cele of talking like a bystander.

“It is literally in your hands to do something about the crime in South Africa. Employ more policemen, take down the cartels.”

Outa’s CEO, Wayne Duvenage, says people are beyond fed up with being held hostage by criminals.

“Her experience is one that is being experienced by thousands of citizens daily in this country. We sincerely hope that she has had a stern discussion with the minister of police Bheki Cele.

“What we want to hear is the minister declaring war on criminals, we see very little, meaningful and effective action to reduce crime and the murder rate in this country.”

Duvenage says this is another indication of how inefficient government is and has been for  a number of years.

Rory Steyn, who was former President Nelson Mandela’s bodyguard, says a lack of training may have been at play for the guards who were on duty that night.

“One of the biggest failings of the police service, they are being failed by the senior management who keep cutting budgets here and there, money stolen from the police expenditure, very often what suffers the most is training.”

The incident is currently under police investigation.

Written by: Lindiwe Mpanza

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