Maimane death threats ‘sign of slide to dictatorship’

Several serious threats were received against Maimane, which had prompted him to appear at anti-Zuma marches in Johannesburg on Friday wearing a bulletproof vest
Picture: John Wessels / AFP Photo

A security expert with the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) has labelled death threats against DA leader Mmusi Maimane as early indicators of a “slide into populist authoritarianism”, more commonly known as a dictatorship.

Maimane’s chief of staff, Geordin Hill-Lewis, has confirmed several serious threats were received against Maimane, which had prompted him to appear at anti-Zuma marches in Johannesburg on Friday wearing a bulletproof vest.

“We received a number of threats in the days preceding the march.

“There were the publicly made threats from the ANCYL and MKMVA and various others and then there were some threats received directly against Mr Maimane, obviously all anonymous,” Hill-Lewis said.

Two men were detained by private security shortly after Maimane arrived, one impersonating a security guard and another with numerous knives, he said. The impersonator was questioned and later released, while the man with knives was arrested.

Gauteng police spokeswoman Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said yesterday police had no knowledge of any arrests related to the march.

“On the day of the march itself, we had obviously had security with their eyes peeled.”

He confirmed the two incidents mentioned by Hill-Lewis. Maimane’s take was pragmatic.

“I am the father of two kids, a husband. It would be irresponsible of me, knowing that people have threatened my life, not to take all the precautions I can take,” he said outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday.

The head of the Governance, Crime and Justice Division of ISS, Gareth Newham, said yesterday threats against not only Maimane but ANC insiders such as Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe were a sign that the ANC was losing its arguments with opposition parties and even anti-Zuma factions within the ruling party.

The Mail and Guardian on Friday reported that Sisulu had escaped two assassination attempts and while she had not criticised President Jacob Zuma in public, she apparently had no qualms in taking him to task during internal meetings.

Newham said the characters issuing threats were feeling threatened by those challenging Zuma and his loyalists, in that they were trying to intimidate or make life uncomfortable for the people they saw as posing a threat to their interests.

2 thoughts on “Maimane death threats ‘sign of slide to dictatorship’

  • April 10, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Zuma’s stranglehold on his executive and fellow ANC cadres speaks volumes on his abilities to rule over them by “fear and favour”
    Those are what must be uncovered.Do that and the those very same cadres will protect themselves and spill the beans.

    Read how ANC treated their own kind in their secret detention camps.

  • April 10, 2017 at 8:57 am

    well obviously the ANC see the DA as a huge threat to them so they will intimidate and threaten. I sincerely pray that one day in the very near future the ANC is knocked out of the “race” as they have just put our beautiful country in the dirt. Junk Status imagine, and this because of the shenanigans of one man who refused to admit he is wrong and to step down.


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