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16 November 2011 at 11:02 - Posted by Anonymous

Malema cleared of blue-light brigade claims


Julius Malema has been cleared on allegations that he had used a blue-light convoy to catch a flight to Mauritius

Julius Malema has been cleared by Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko of allegations that he used a blue-light convoy to OR Tambo International Airport to catch a flight to Mauritius last month to attend a friend’s wedding.

“I do not have that report. There is also no evidence that he used a blue-light convoy to the airport,” Mazibuko said yesterday in response to DA member Kate Lorimer’s questions in the Gauteng Legislature regarding the criteria used by Gauteng politicians in order for them to be granted access to blue-light convoys.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) spokesman Wayne Minnaar would not deny nor confirm when asked by the Sunday Times early this month if Malema had been accompanied by a blue-light convoy to the airport.

Minnaar said that “if it did happen, there’s nothing wrong because members (of the JMPD) assist members of the community on a daily basis and in different circumstances. Where the community needs certain assistance in emergency situations, officers do assist.”

Yesterday Mazibuko said residents were allowed the privileges of blue-light convoys only if they worked with the police. She also failed to answer Lorimer’s question on whether residents were expected to pay a fee for the service.

The media reported that Malema had been whisked to the airport on October 28 – a few hours after he had led an economic freedom march to the Union Buildings – to catch a flight to a R10m wedding in Mauritius.

Another furore was sparked when Gauteng MEC for Housing and Local Government Humphrey Mmemezi’s driver was involved in an accident while in a car fitted with blue lights. The pupil is still in a coma in hospital.

DA leader Helen Zille has said she would sign a Justice Project of South Africa petition on Friday “to ban the use of blue lights by security teams transporting politicians. “I will be joining over 6 500 South Africans who have already signed the petition in just four days since it was launched.”

Mazibuko was also asked how many metro police officers there were in Gauteng and how many were in active service despite criminal records. She said the City of Joburg employed 2 986 metro officers, the City of Tshwane 1 658 and the Ekurhuleni metro had 1 911.

She said the municipalities were still compiling the information about the convicted cops and she was expected to answer during the next sitting. - The Star


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