Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane ruled that then-Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula did not break any laws by awarding VIP protection to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
On Thursday, 28 March 2019, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane ruled that Fikile Mbalula did not break any laws by awarding VIP protection to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in 2017 during his tenure as police minister.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) argued that Dlamini-Zuma’s VIP protection was a waste of taxpayer’s money as she was given a security outfit in April 2017 and was only expected back in parliament in September of the same year.
At the time, the State Security Agency and Crime Intelligence argued that they had identified threats against Dlamini-Zuma upon her return from being chairperson of the African Union Commission.
At the time, several political parties lambasted the decision, saying that Dlamini-Zuma neither held a South African government position nor was she a dignitary. The VIP protection is only awarded to the president and deputy president of the Republic of South Africa, former presidents, foreign heads of states and their spouses.
In her report, Mkhwebane said that the protection services availed to Dlamini-Zuma were an outcome of a security assessment conducted and ongoing investigations relating to the threats directed at her personally. The Public Protector further added that in accordance with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), the protection given to Dlamini-Zuma was suitable for dignitaries of her calibre.
According to calculations deduced from figures revealed by Bheki Cele that relate to VIP status, Dlamini-Zuma’s protection from April to December 2017 is an estimated R507 000.