NEWS & ANALYSIS

On the police "raid" on my property - Zweli Mkhize

Minister says there was no search of his house other than the collection of weapons and guards for processing

Minister Zweli Mkhize responds to reports of “raid” at his home 

11 Oct 2018

Following various media houses contacting me regarding the so called raid at my home, I’ve felt it necessary to issue a statement and also allay fears of my friends and comrades who have contacted me out of concern, and to give background to the public at large.

On Friday, 28 September 2018, my wife and I received a call from a neighbour advising us there was a lot of activity just outside the gate at our home in Willowfountain, Pietermaritzburg. It appeared to them that some law enforcement authorities were engaging with our security guard who man the gate. 

We then immediately contacted the security guard at the gate to establish what was going on as we were in Gauteng that evening. He subsequently informed us that there were gentlemen who had advised that they were from the National Intervention team for Rhino Poaching and Political Killings. 

I then asked to speak to them in order to establish more details and ensure that there was full cooperation. 

The gentleman from the unit, Lt Col Tsikelele advised me that they were conducting spot checks on the security company, checking their compliance and to verify that all firearms belonging to the company were properly registered.

Colonel Tsikelele also assured me that they did not need to come into my house. In fact they had been brought to the gate by the security company owners as they had informed them that some of their employees who are in possession of firearms were on duty at our house, manning the gate.

He further indicated that they had spent time processing compliance documents in the offices of the security company which was their main focus. They were informed that some of the weapons were assigned to guards on duty in different sites. It was the owners of the company that led them to the different sites where they have deployed their guards, as they were the only ones who knew the identity and sites of all their clients. The intervention team also advised that they had no search warrant to our house and had no intention to do so other than to process compliance documents with the guards at the gate.   

Colonel Tsikelele further indicated that some of the guards were to be taken to the police station as they didn’t have some required permits with them. They were however released from custody on Monday, 31 September with no charges being laid against them. 

I have requested the security company to keep us posted on these developments as it is in our household’s interest and safety to ensure that there are no security breaches but also to be guarded by a company that fully complies with all legal requirements.

It must be emphasized that the police have never linked me or my family with any wrong doing. There was also no raid or search of our house other than the collection of weapons and guards taken for processing in police station. Similarly no one was hurt or property damaged.  Furthermore, the police did not mention searching for or finding illegal weapons or any direct link with any of the weapons to illegal activities as it has been regrettably reported by some media houses.

I support the investigations by police to solve the challenge of crime, political killings and the ultimate elimination of all violence especially in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. It is my view that law enforcement agencies should be permitted to fulfill their duties and if this requires lawful searches to be conducted, this must never be resisted by any citizen including ourselves as political leaders.

Statement issued by Musa Zondi – Spokesperson, Department of Cooperative Governance, 11 October 2018