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‘Another slap in the face’ — cash-strapped City of Joburg splurges on bodyguards for bigwigs

‘Another slap in the face’ — cash-strapped City of Joburg splurges on bodyguards for bigwigs
Illustrative image: (Jake Olimb / Getty)

In addition to the bodyguards, the politicians will receive 40 cars from the fleet of the Joburg Metropolitan Police Department, which is meant to control traffic, enforce by-laws and assist in crime prevention.

The ANC-EFF coalition with minor parties in the City of Johannesburg is spending more on VIP bodyguards than any other city in South Africa, even as its finances are in trouble. 

The coalition government has adjusted its budget from R83-billion to R76-billion as declining revenue harms services — but the council’s last meeting approved a spending splurge for city bigwigs.

Executive Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda of the three-seat Al Jama-ah party will have 10 bodyguards, with five per shift, from the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and three cars in his convoy. Daily Maverick understands a total of eight cars from the JMPD fleet are allocated to him.

The speaker, Margaret Arnolds, from the two-seat African Independent Congress party, will have eight bodyguards, four per shift.

By comparison, Joburg’s former mayor Mpho Phalatse had eight bodyguards, four per shift, while Cape Town’s mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, has four per shift.

However, the city says that it must protect its office bearers and that allocating VIP guards will not harm its plans to improve services. (See its complete response below.)

The ANC caucus leader and power behind the throne, Dada Morero, gets five bodyguards and a convoy of two cars as the MMC for finance. He has overseen the rapid decline of the city’s finances as the inefficient centralised billing system sees the city rack up billions in debt.

City Power’s electricity cuts are often worse than Eskom’s. Customers who can are leaving the city grid in droves, cauterising its primary source of revenue. Johannesburg runs off its profits from service tariffs and network charges from supplying electricity.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Joburg mayor says there is no water crisis as Eikenhof pump station goes down again 

The city has borrowed R2-billion from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to fund operating costs and has tapped a $100-million facility from the World Bank’s lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), payable over the long term.

The party bosses and certain heads of administration, like the city manager, Floyd Brink, will be chauffeured in BMWs, while their support staff and protectors will use smaller sedans or SUVs.

The politicians will remove 40 cars from the fleet of the JMPD, which is meant to control traffic, enforce by-laws, and assist in crime prevention. 

Local State Capture

The DA and ActionSA opposed the splurge, but the governing coalition passed it, with a slim majority. The EFF and Patriotic Alliance MMCs get four bodyguards each because they occupy the big-spending portfolios where risks are assessed to be higher as more tenders are given out.

Local State Capture is rampant in Johannesburg because of the big budgets and high contract values of outsourced services. The same patterns set out in the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture are evident in the city.

According to sources, the city’s companies, where spending is highest, are run by increasingly politicised boards which can direct contracts to companies aligned with, or with influence over, the parties in the ANC-EFF-led coalition. The competition for contracts is intensifying.

The immediate reason for the new VIP allocations was the shooting of council Chief Whip Sithembiso Zungu in January at a Rand Water function at a school in Zakariyya Park, Lenasia.

Rand Water executive Tebogo Joala was killed in the shooting, which was a targeted assassination, his family said. Joala’s bodyguard was also killed, while Zungu was shot when he confronted the gunman. Rand Water has not released the details of an investigation into Joala’s killing, which Water Affairs Minister Senzo Mchunu has asked for.

The City of Johannesburg has always provided bodyguards to its top officials. But now it has expanded the numbers of those getting VIP protection, even providing bodyguards to committee chairpersons, who are councillors from the EFF and PA.

Belinda Echeozonjoku, the Johannesburg DA caucus leader, said her caucus opposed the spending and expanded protection services beyond justifiable precedents.

The Johannesburg Crisis Alliance (JCA) said the money should rather be spent on services.

“The JCA is shocked that the Johannesburg Council approved the proposal to spend over R3-million a month on VIP protection for the executive of the council and other office bearers of the council such as the Speaker, chief whip, chair of chairs and chair of the municipal public accounts committee.

“The costs do not include the vehicle costs for the almost 40 cars that will be bought to provide VIP protection services. This expenditure is unwarranted and is nothing more than an attempt to emulate the blue-light culture that exists at national and provincial level,” said Ishmael Mkhabela and Shan Bolton of the JCA.

“For a city in deep financial trouble, this extravagance is another slap in the face and we are sure it will not go down well with the many who have to endure the daily deterioration of services across the city.”

The JCA is a civil society alliance of residents and organisations who want the national government to intervene in the city’s rapid decline.

Crime out of control

According to the SAPS’s latest crime stats release for October to December 2023, crimes in all categories increased significantly in Johannesburg. While wealthier areas are zones of relative safety with sophisticated private security, the inner-city and working-class outer regions are under the cosh of crime.

The policing districts of the inner city — Jeppe, Hillbrow, Moroka, Eldorado Park, Diepsloot, Alexandra, Roodepoort, Lenasia, Jabulani and Protea — are areas where crime has spiralled to levels that make life hazardous.

Murder, assault, robbery and kidnappings remain distressingly high. Carjacking is up again after trending down. More people are murdered in open or public spaces in Johannesburg with a firearm than anywhere else in the country, showing that visible policing, which a metro police service can provide, is an obvious need.

City’s response 

“The resolution aligns with the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act and determining upper limits of salaries, allowances and benefits for municipal council members as gazetted,” the city’s communications team said.

“The regulations stipulate that in cases of threats against councillors, the South African Police Service must conduct an assessment, and the municipality must provide security for the concerned councillor(s). There is no diversion of service delivery resources involved. 

“The approved report on the safety of councillors is in line with the city’s obligations with the gazetted regulations. We remain committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all public office bearers.”

In response to this article, the city issued a statement on what it claimed was “misinformation circulating” regarding its protection and security system for VIPs.

“The policy recently approved by Council seeks to regularize and standardize the provision of protection services in compliance with relevant legislation and regulations,” it said on Tuesday.

“The policy stipulates that protection services are offered on an ad-hoc basis, based on a threat risk assessment conducted by either the State Security Agency or the South African Police Services. 

“Furthermore, there has been no additional budget allocation for this purpose, and there is no diversion of resources from essential service delivery to fund protection services. 

“The recent reallocation of adjustment budgets focuses on key service entities such as City Power, Joburg Water, and Pikitup to ensure the continuity of essential services without disruption. 

“The approved policy is aimed at ensuring the City has the means and basis to provide protection to Councillors as and when a risk assessment determines such is required.

“The City of Johannesburg remains steadfast in its dedication to creating a secure environment for all residents and stakeholders. The protection of the City’s elected representatives is an integral component of our efforts to maintain a safe and functional city for everyone. “

The city said it was “concerned about the exaggerated numbers currently circulating”, an apparent reference to the number of bodyguards and cars allocated to city leaders. The city, however, did not respond to a request for comment on the specific numbers at the time of writing and the article has been updated for clarity. DM

This article has been corrected to reflect that Mayor Gwamanda has been allocated 10 bodyguards who work in shifts of five. 

It has also been corrected to reflect that former mayor Phalatse had eight bodyguards working in shifts of four.

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Graeme de Villiers says:

    Clearly the number of allocated bodyguards is inversely proportional to the amount of value these cretins appear to add.
    This is beyond ludicrous.

    • Cachunk Cachunk says:

      They are just utter scum.

    • J vN says:

      While you’re correct, you didn’t mention who are really to blame.

      These would be the utter cretins who keep on electing the other cretins in election after election; those who don’t have the mental ability to understand concepts like right and wrong.

      • D'Esprit Dan says:

        No majority (or even close to it) voted for Gwamanda and his smallanyana party to assume power. No majority voted for Konvict Kenny Kunene to grab the Transport portfolio.

        I’ll tell you what people do, do though: they read social media and take note of the comments like yours and vote for parties that don’t align with you. Why are so many white Sourh Africans still so oblivious to their sneering attitude? It embarrasses me no end.

  • James Baxter says:

    I am not calling for a revolutionary take over of SA. What I am calling for is for us as the citizens of South Africa to rise up and reclaim our country from our political leaders who have lost their moral compass. I call upon all the citizens of South Africa to take back SA peacefully from our leaders who have consistently displayed a level of disrespect towards us for a considerable amount of time. Please rise up before it’s too late, before our country descends into a very scary place. I don’t want to live in a failed state, with no toilet or clean water. I don’t want to live in a country where the currency is worthless. Please I am too sensitive to that possibility having clean water is great, please I am not saying we should violently take back the country. We can accomplish this in a variety of ways, through the use of social media to co-ordinate our actions, not through protest. We have to organise ourselves as cells. A cell in Sandton, a cell in Khayelitsha, a cell in Thembisa, a cell in Alexandria etc. And these cells work together to fight crime, create economic projects, and tutorial for learners to learn geometry and trigonometry.. We can start with a protest, like the Arab spring and occupy union building to remove a democratically elected government because they time is coming where you and me will have to remove a democratically elected government in order to take back SA peacefully without any form of violence whatsoever

  • Lysergic Acid says:

    Politicians needing bodyguards should tell you all you need to know the calibre of these people. How about a politician without any need for protection? I guess then all politicians would be killed.

  • Gary Palmer says:

    It seems the Russian way of safeguarding the politically enriched is playing out here too..
    The threat from the impoverished citizens is requiring more guns and less roses..

    • Hennie Booysen says:

      The Russian way? I guess if you have a narrow perspective then that is all you see. Look around a bit – the mayor of London has at least 15 bodyguards at any time, NYC mayor something similar and I imagine all mayors at major US cities and European cities have the same. So I guess we are simply following the Western way.

      • Cachunk Cachunk says:

        They add value. These morons steal it.

      • Michael Thomlinson says:

        The Mayor of London is Sadiq Khan. The reason why he so many bodyguards is that he has had multiple death threats from both extremist white groups, who think that the mayor should be a white person and extremist muslim groups who are enraged that he supports same sex marriages. However, he seems to be a capable mayor and is well respected for what he does for a very large complex city. Quite different to the Jhb Mayor who is a politically correct deployed cadre and does not look like he could run a spaza shop.

        • Middle aged Mike says:

          London has declined in virtually every metric that maters since Khan came in with violent crime of all types being particularly noteworthy. What outcomes has he achieved that you see as indicative of him being capable?

          • Jane Crankshaw says:

            Cant even stop the desecration of London’s War Memorials in front of a compromised police force during the weekly Protest marches supporting Palestinians ( and Hamas?)
            No marches allowed in support of Israel whose country was violently invaded – could that be because there are 4.2million Muslims and only 220 000 Jews in the UK so the sheer weight of numbers is just too great?

        • D'Esprit Dan says:

          Gwamanda couldn’t run a bath. Simply because he can’t ensure water for it. He is the lowest point in Joburg’s post-apartheid history, despite fierce competition from the ANC.

      • D'Esprit Dan says:

        When Ian Khama was president of Botswana he cycled to a coffee shop on Sundays, bought a newspaper, had breakfast and cycled home again. No bodyguards. I’ve met countless Ministers from EU countries in South Africa with no bodyguards in sight. They’re relaxed, affable and unencumbered by gun-toting muscle. Most Ambassadors that I’ve met in South Africa travel to events without bodyguards. For this collection of scumbags to need this amount of security tells you one thing, and one thing only: they need protection from one another and their respective tender mafias, nothing more and nothing less. They are scum. Pure and simple. Cannot deliver services, quite frankly don’t care about delivering services and will squander money on their vanity and mafias and damned be the people of Jozi. Pure, pure scum.

  • Dragon Slayer says:

    One is tempted to talk about cockroaches, but they may not build but do clean up the mess. This lot are locusts doing nothing but consume everything. An abomination!

  • Keith Clubb says:

    Graeme is perfectly correct but it would make an enormous difference if these were decent hard working politicians running the metro for the benefit of the residents and not themselves. The gutter sweepings currently in place with their incredible sense of entitlement deserve nothing.

  • Geoff Coles says:

    So they all get bodyguards and new vehicles for the bodyguards….and yet this doesn’t impact on service delivery elsewhere? And then, why so many for the Mayor and Speaker, who assesses this nead?

    • Ryckard Blake says:

      When I read the first release / leak of this plan a week ago, I realised after a while that it HAD to be an April Fool’s joke.
      Ha, Ha, very funny – hadn’t till that moment realised our pea-brained mayor had any sense of humour.
      Now, I’m not so sure. One shouldn’t underestimate the depths of depravity this council is happy to sink to – this scheme probably cooked up by Gayton and Kenny. backed by Panyaaz and cheered on by the EFF.
      Makes me want to puke.

      Please find a way of blocking this lunacy, DA. Tim T, like you blocked Hairman’s attempt to soak those few who actually pay for the electricity they consume R200 for the first zero kWh they use every month

  • dumibaleni says:

    There is too much Swaart Gevaar on the EFF it’s such a crazy thing. Corruption Watch Report indicates that Tshwane, JHB and Cape Town contributed to over 71% of reported cases in 2023, no mention of Ekurhuleni. And some how we must be scared when they say Floyd should be Minister of Finance. It’s nonsense.

    And why is there an uproar of the EFF’s possible coalition with ANC, I mean all the other Parties except the ANC signed an agreement that they will not engage with the EFF. So now what is the EFF expected to do in this instance, NOTHING? It’s really madness.

    • Carsten Rasch says:

      What’s madness is that a party those leaders are deeply involved in corruption and whose members have zero respect for our country’s Constitution is allowed to participate in the elections.

    • Denise Smit says:

      I really do not grasp your point on this article. The ‘gevaar’ is proven by the expressed need for these over the board protection for these politicians including the EFF. It is actually you who are identifying the “gevaar”

    • Greeff Kotzé says:

      “So now what is the EFF expected to do in this instance?”

      Here’s an idea: Evolve. Move away from using violent language. Act with virtue and ethicality.

      The aversion the majority of South Africans have to seeing the EFF as part of any governing coalition — that you are complaining about now — is entirely self-inflicted.

    • Penny Philip says:

      The EFF have always been big mouthed opportunists. Remember ‘I will die for Zuma’ / ‘Zuma must go…pay back the money’ ? They wear Gucci while promising people in squatter camps land in Sandton. They think the voting public are stupid & don’t remember things their leaders have said in public.

    • Random Comment says:

      The EFF was closely involved with the stripping of VBS Bank – your thoughts on that “misdemeanor”?

    • William Dryden says:

      The EFF should be removed from the ballot papers as they are a communist ideologist party with a radical war mongered leader who all he wants to do is stir up hatred for whites.

      • Skinyela Skinyela says:

        Communist ideology is not illegal, not only here in RSA, in many countries. Even in western countries.

        So, the communism ideology won’t be a reason to ban the eff, maybe other reasons.

        And be careful of what you wish for, because that will be a slippery slope. For example, other people would argue that the ff+ is a nazi party and must be banned.

  • Geoff Krige says:

    This could be a good thing, or a bad thing. It would be a good thing if it heralds the start of a vigorous and aggressive clean-up campaign of the many criminal syndicates and corrupt companies currently acting as contractors to the city, in which case the Councillors will need all the protection they can get. It would be a bad thing if it acknowledges that the Councillors are so deep in corruption and criminality themselves that they have become terrified within their own reign of terror.
    If I were a betting man, I would not put money on it being a good thing. My money would be on it being a bad thing – one more example of the extent to which the ANC has driven our beloved country into a mafia state.

  • Geoffry Heald says:

    The appointment of a protection racket – a blue light brigade to “protect” dismally unqualified, incompetent and unsuitable COJ municipal officials is a remarkable confession by those posing as leaders of Johannesburg.
    Rate payers are sadly aware of the brick wall of non responsiveness that the COJ pretends is service delivery.
    It is another wall.
    It is a confession of rampant ineptitude and service delivery failure. It is a confession of a fear that there will be criminal retribution for failure to deliver on tenders. It is a measure of how out of touch and the contempt that COJ municipal officials have for the citizens of Johannesburg. It is a simplistic solution that will never solve Johannesburg’s underlying deep rooted problems. It is search for a solution to the wrong problem.
    It reveals an inability of COJ officials and leadership to develop a shared and implementable town and regional planning vision for Johannesburg.

  • Thea Clifford Jackson says:

    Ah yes, the world class African city showing its mettle. What crime? What grime? What infrastructural failures?

  • Andre Tait says:

    If our population vote this lot in AGAIN, this country is lost. Not because the ANC is Still in power but because it will prove once and for all that the voters of this country are blind and deserve what is coming….

  • Anton Hattingh says:

    Shame , why do they need bodyguards etc should be doing metro rail with there comrades , bodyguards really to do there shopping at Woolworths

  • George 007 says:

    Let them eat cake comes to mind.

  • Thinker and Doer says:

    This is outrageous that these politicians who have promoted the corruption that is destroying the city, are looting the budget to provide VIP protection for themselves against the dangerous criminals thar they have fostered through corruption. All of those vehicles and personel must be used for community policing, as intended.

    Residents are facing collapsing infrastructure and rampant crime, while they say “there is no crisis” and just provide more perks to themselves. The municipality must be placed under administration and the looting by the corrupt Council must end.

  • Patrick O'Shea says:

    LOL, MMC Public Safety (EFF) needs 4 bodyguards? What is this person getting paid for?

  • Denise Smit says:

    And they need these expensive cars with lots of air bags or 4 x 4 rs to negotiate the potholes and rivers of water and sewage and roads that are blown up, safely. And their cars are paid for and ensured by the taxpayer. Thankfully I live in the best place in SA : Western Cape run by the DA

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      Think we could make a saving by removing the expensive airbags, given that the occupants of the vehicles are bunch of windbags in any case.

  • Allison Alan-Brown says:

    Big wigs? Surely not? So few brain cells require small wigs…..

  • John Patson says:

    As well as the cars there is the cost of the pistols — presumably Glocks with the cheapest selling for $500 US. That is $5,000 for the mayor and $4,000 for the speaker at least — these pistols have a reputation for “gone missing.”
    Plus the ammo at R5 or more a shot….
    For all 61 body guards in the graphic that is $30,500 just for guns. Presumably they all want iPhones as well — the security on the cheap phones is terrible. Another $70,000 this time. And RayBans, and suites, and white shirts……

    • Graeme J says:

      I wonder whose mate got the security contracts, as well as the maintenance/purchase contracts for the vehicles, arms, ammo, etc?

  • Nicol Mentz says:

    They have no shame!!! If the voters believe that the politicians have your back you are delusional.

  • William Kelly says:

    Time to slap back. #ratesboycott

  • mcwha says:

    Aside from rush hour roadblocks the Metro Police Dept’s primary duty for the past x number of years has been to escort funeral processions. So it’s good to give them another task. We will get to see them on the road a bit more.

  • Charles Mnisi says:

    South Africa is the one country where servants live like kings and queens and kings and queens (citizens, ratepayers etc) live like wretched undeserving scum. You would think that with all this opulence they would do what is expected of them to their best, with diligence and with vigour , but no, NEVER! For who, for what? After all, these are their just deserts for bringing democracy.

    They didn’t venture into politics to become poor.

    What a shame!

  • Joe Soap says:

    Why has this story not appeared in MSM? Daily Maverick the only non-aligned news sourc

  • Peter Sullivan says:

    These are small wigs, getting too much powder. Follow the money: who will provide the bodyguards, and who owns that?

  • Hilary Morris says:

    The circus in full splendour. Insanity run riot. It is truly beyond belief that these idiots are allowed to pretend to be officials.

  • Penny Philip says:

    And why are city councillors being shot? Only two possible reasons. They are either doing business with some very shady characters, or it’s very unhappy JHB residents. Either way, its clear that JHB really has become a mafia run city. I actually can’t think of a more greed & theft ridden coalition than the EFF & ANC.

  • Mfana Dyasi says:

    ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell.

  • Cam Pot says:

    I agree this is over done but we must not take for granted the scourge of political killings in SA, its a reality. I know we might not like them because these guys a black etc , but they are elected by South Africans who are mostly black. I understand that they might be corrupt but they are still human and not necessarily deserve to die because they belong to the PA, ANC , ATM or EFF

    • Ryckard Blake says:

      Do not stand for political office if you really fear that you might as a councillor be murdered by someone from your same party who would like to fill your place at the feeding trough. Or if you stand because your intent is to enrich yourself via crooked deals at ratepayers ‘expense. Why must ratepayers pay to protect crooks?
      You are correct – most of the victims are black, whilst by far the bulk of the rates income is paid by whites, who generally do not vote for parties which operate as criminal. self-enriching syndicates.

      • Cam Pot says:

        The issue is not about fear but its about wisdom to understand that a political office as risk especially in our corruption infested system.
        Its very difficult to discern and assess which individuals have an intention to self enrich when they campaign for political office– I think its very unfair to generalise about self-enrichment because people come from certain parties we do not like. I wonder why is is the bulk of the rate payers white and not the majority of black people ?

      • Hennie Booysen says:

        “Whites generally do not vote for parties which operate as criminal, self-enriching syndicates” – you think? Perhaps you should cast your mind back to our history and our previous governments, or better yet, look to the USA right now.

    • ST ST says:

      Well, on this occasion, we don’t have evidence that their blackness puts them at risk of being killed and therefore need protection.

      But we have had multiple reports of them being involved in corruption as a group. I don’t know about the individuals who’ve been assassinated. It is possible that some are under threat because they’re trying to do the right thing e.g,. whistleblowers etc. in that case…I thank them for their bravery and service. May they RIP

      Either way…there’s more reason to believe that this group of politicians is largely responsible for the mafia state from which they now need more protection. Therefore good and bad politicians end up in the same mix. Largely, it seems if they did not engage in corruption, they at least enabled it. Their crimes may be the reason they are now under more threat. SA citizens shouldn’t have to pay for that and give up much needed services. Further, their failure to combat crime adds to this. Ordinary citizens have to live in fear. Where are their bodyguards! We have to pay more and more for private protection because the lawlessness they’ve enabled! Where is the value for tax and ratepayers?

      • Cam Pot says:

        I think you might need to read my comment. I didn’t imply their blackness puts them at risk of being killed , that would be an unsubstantiated statement in this context. What I was alluding to is their blackness is at many times equated to incompetence.

        Where is the evidence can you provide it ? , a link , an investigation , court judgement etc.. By asking these question don’t presume that Im saying they are not corrupt but rather we must deal with evidence.

        There are so many people that have been killed for political reason wether corrupt or not corrupt. Its every where on the news. We must not allow that to be the norm.
        Well for me I wouldn’t comment much on wether their ” alleged crimes” are putting them at risk of being murdered.

        • ST ST says:

          Yep you’re right! That’s not what you said. That’s how I interpreted it. My bad. What you maybe meant is that they don’t deserve less protection just because they are black? True.

          Trust me it pains me to say some of these things. I agree with you…black doesn’t equal incompetence & corruption. I equally get frustrated with such implications. I know not all these politicians are guilty. There are also many examples of honest hard working intelligent black and brown people. We’ve seen even recently that corruption has not racial boundaries.

          Evidence…unfortunately we don’t have any against most for a number of reasons; closing ranks, judiciary slow go etc. As a citizen the ‘evidence’ I go by is…poor performance in multiple areas, high crime, extremely high SA dept not matched by improving standards of living for most ordinary people. Meanwhile our leaders appear to be living the life. Adding leaders like Zondo who point to corruption and mismanagement as the significant contributors to our misery…I’m bound to believe that this group of politicians have something to answer Perhaps we can start with why is JHB cash strapped in the first place. Why are these crimes higher now? If we can get honest answers from our leaders from such questions, I would feel better defending them

    • Middle aged Mike says:

      They get killed because they are criminals and that’s how the organised variety do succession management not because they are black. You probably know that but hey, why not throw in an utterly irrelevant race card.

      • Cam Pot says:

        Actually their race is not irrelevant. Even the very competent black people in our system and institutions are treated with suspicion because of their race. Its an everyday reality we face that we face every day and we are not trusted and its sad. Others are assumed to be corrupt because they belong to certain parties.

    • Grumpy Old Man says:

      The persons behind most of the political killings that take place are rivals – and very often rivals from within own party ranks. Call me cynical but I don’t believe the contract killing that takes place is motivated by their desire to serve.
      That these persons need protection – or more protection – is because the entire system is premised on corruption.
      Essentially then the residents of Johannesburg are being asked to pay for thives to be protected, so the next in line thief (from the same party) is not allowed to shoot his way to the front of the queue ‘to eat’ before his time.
      I don’t want people to die, but by the same token neither do I want to foot the bill to protect people so they can steal in relative safety.
      Johannesburg is in a mess – the City has blown up, people don’t have water for weeks on end, City Power employees are corrupt – and on top of all this we are bankrupt.
      Sorry if I sound callous – but my sympathy lies with the people of Johannesburg not a Mayor (who ran a funeral funding scam) from a party who mustered a couple of thousand votes, a transport MMC whose claim to fame is eating sushi of naked woman or his party Boss who is a convicted Cash in Transit robber.
      This is the quality of persons who you believe should be protected. For heavens sake we need protecting from them

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      You’re quite correct that they don’t deserve to die just because they belong the PA, ANC, ATM, EFF etc – I agree with you 100%. However, the reason they’re clamouring for armed muscle isn’t because Joburg is a hotbed of political assasinations, like KZN, it’s because they don’t trust each other’s mafias and have to protect themselves against fellow coalition partners who also want to feed at the trough. Complete scum, all of them.

  • Nicholas Cocciuti says:

    Dear politicians when you have finished spending on yourselves can we please have water? We’re not even asking for electricity or roads. Just water. Please spare a few rands for us your citizens.

  • John Lewis says:

    The voters who put small parties in the driving seat are to blame for this! Something to think about when you’re putting a cross next to one of these charlatans’ names because John Steenhuisen was ‘tone deaf’ or Helen Zille said something mean on Twitter.

    • D'Esprit Dan says:

      By the same token, maybe Zille and Steenhuisen should stop being so brain dead in their comments. They couldn’t read a room with Google Maps.

      • Hennie Booysen says:

        Spot on here. The current dismal situation in Johannesburg can be traced back to 2016 when the DA won the local election, but had to form a coalition to achieve majority. This was a situation that the DA was (and still is) woefully incapable of managing at any level with the result that the last eight years has been a bunfight for positions and power with little regard for actually doing what they were voted in to do.

  • Betsie Ackerman says:

    The trough feeders are huge people, they need that amount of body guards to protect them. It will take at least four guards to encircle them if anything should treaten them whilst chowing down their KFC buckets.

  • Kevin Venter says:

    “The city has borrowed R2-billion from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to fund operating costs and has tapped a $100-million facility from the World Bank’s lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), payable over the long term.”

    The people who are making the decision to lend money that has to be paid back with interest to fund this kind of stuff has no idea about fiscal management. I guess that is where so many government institutions have no money. I cannot believe that cadres are just deployed when they clearly don’t have the first idea of sound financial management. Sad really.

  • Random Comment says:

    A few more bananas and the CoJ Coalition Government could establish its own republic

  • Günter Boisits says:

    And there I remember sitting in the Subway in Vienna and the the then Chancellor sitting without any protection on his way to the Office in the same train… and that was a daily occurrence. Security is only provided on Official engagements… and then one wonders why Austria runs so much more efficiently…

  • Jacci Babich says:

    Disgusting! The EFF/ANC coalition is a total disaster. The city is deteriorating as fast as ice cream on a hot day. No wonder I am still waiting for erour roads faster than ice cream on a hot dayin a total mess with

  • William Dryden says:

    And who said you can’t get blood out of a stone, obviously they didn’t know the ANC can, and the taxpayer being the stone.

  • Kerry van Schalkwyk says:

    Viva the comrades, viva! Their intrinsic essence is selfishness, arrogance, corruption, incompetence and deviousness and they never fail to disappoint. What astounds me is the number of acolytes who still believe in these politicians who consistently spew unethical and frankly immoral lies. The 29th of May cannot come fast enough and one can only trust and hope that common sense will prevail and the few politicians who actually deliver will be voted for.

  • Jacci Babich says:

    Disgusting! The EFF/ANC coalition is a total disaster. The city is deteriorating as fast as our water supply is being sucked dry by useless politicians. No wonder I am still waiting, nine months later, for African Dawn, the City’s Insurance Brokers to even bother to reply to my emails, never mind paying me out for damage to my car – wounded in action – thanks to dangerous unmarked roadworks set up by Joburg Water in Grosvenor Road, Bryanston. (Claim 40652 ID (34bdx/30880/40652). Maybe I can find a railing at the ‘Kremlin’ in Braamfontein to chain myself to with a trusty journalist from the Daily Maverick to record a pensioner simply asking to be paid out. Fancy my couple of thousand rand being able to bankrupt the COJ compared to the millions they are forking out for bodyguards never mind the vast sums they steal every day from us ratepayers.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Tired of drowning in BS?

    Vote DA.

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    The Danish Prime Minister goes to work on a bicycle😀

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    These cretinous thieves need posses of bodyguards because they are up to their eyes in dodgy dealing and succession management in the glorious liberation movement and it’s useful idiot fellow travellers is done with firearms. When the hell are people going to wise up and stop voting for this lunacy.

    • Ryckard Blake says:

      As long as the ANC-governed CoJ routinely, every year, writes off as uncollectable R2bn+ of rates and services owed by voting residents of Soweto and Alex. Are those free-loaders going to vote for any party that expects them to actually pay for the rates, electricity and water that they waste? Naaah, not really.

  • Anthony Krijger says:

    The words of French philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778) :
    Put all the politicians in a field and let them sort out their differences. Only let them out when one emerges victorious.

  • Leslie van Minnen says:

    Sick beyond belief. A better life for all. Yes for all who feed at the trough.
    Can not comprehend the mentality of people who still want these crooks to govern this country.
    Provide nothing but destruction but want to be treated like demi gods.

  • Viviana Smith says:

    I would love to see this on opposition party election posters: “When calling the police, callers are routinely told there are no cars available. However, 40 cars are allocated to these officials’ security ‘in case’ they need assistance. Now you know how much your security matters to them. Vote for your security and not theirs. “

  • Peter Merrington says:

    Out of their brackets.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    And so the stealing continues under the guise of Body Guards throughBEE tenders! And quite openly giving the finger to the tax and ratepayer!

  • Vincent Barnes says:

    So, the people’s representatives now need to be protected from the people they represent! This is a clear abuse of power and trust and a huge failure to tackle crime, not to mention the non-delivery of services to the residence / ratepayers of the City of
    Johannesburg.

  • SA is decaying. Let’s face the facts here, as members of this country we have elected the current government to lead us. We have employed them to carry out a duty to serve and provide services from a central point to communities. I believe an African president elected made it quite clear in his first address to parliament, “We are the custodians of the wealth of this country. It is not ours or mine and we need to account for what we spend of this public fund and provide a statement, expense bill, etc. I am an employee of the state, appointed by the people of this country and as such have an employment contract same as any person out there”. There is no need for these expenditures if current service levels, infrastructure and in general output does not match what has been paid for. reference to Rates and Taxes paid by a community should get a monthly statement of services rendered, employee salaries paid, maintenance expenses, etc…. I believe we have become too complacent over the past 25+ years under ANC rule to expect anything to CHANGE. The sad reality is that we may well be here again for ANOTHER TERM.

  • Johan Buys says:

    Only ten bodyguards? Going by the state of affairs I would have thought he needs at least 50 to subdue his subjects.

  • casperbadenhorst67 says:

    An absolute disgrace!

  • Marianne McKay says:

    Pathetic

  • Rdp Pdr says:

    One bodyguard for each of the mayor’s brain cells….

  • D'Esprit Dan says:

    Please remember, on the 29th of May, that Panyaza Lesufi is 100% responsible for this disgusting rabble. This coalition was his handiwork; this useless Mayor who sucks money out of our city and gives nothing back is Lesufi’s. All for the sake of power and corruption whilst giving the middle finger to the citizens of Joburg. VOTE LESUFI OUT!!!

  • Temmy Randeria says:

    The reason for so many body guards is the politicians lie through their teeth generally. The so scared someone will assault them that they need protection. Why don’t they just be honest and none of this is necessary. Don’t forget the ego trip they thrive on with all this protectoon not forgetting the blue lights.

  • Rob Scott says:

    When your residents want to harm you, you must know you are doing a terrible job. Time to vote out these scum.

  • Abel Mngadi says:

    They get elected by the people and pretend that the people want to harm them. How ironic. These politicians kill each other for positions and we must bear the cost of their criminal actions. It is about time they must be removed.

  • Terry Marshall says:

    We were on a Lift flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg yesterday lunch time and were sitting in the economy seats and Musi Maimane came and sat in the economy seat in front of me – just by himself like a normal traveler -NO Bodyguards. Quite refreshing to see a politician travelling in Economy! We need more like him to serve the Country – not themselves!

  • Trudy Jensen says:

    But they don’t have the budget to pay the 300+ students that Lesufi employed! So typically ANC. These kids should approach the CCMA to force the ANC government of whom Lesufi is a member, to pay them for their time. And then walk out!!!

  • Barbara Potoi says:

    Not being entirely familiar with relevant legislation, i wonder if any in the legal fraternity can inform if and how, civil organisations or any in ‘the general public’ can lodge with legal standing – a Vote of No Confidence in the CoJ mayor and the executive in charge of the city’s administration?

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