Cape Town – Deputy Minister in the Presidency responsible for State Security Zizi Kodwa has dismissed reports that there was a security threat after President Cyril Ramaphosa was whisked away moments after he arrived at an ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) event at the Lebowakgomo Civic Centre in Limpopo on Thursday.
Ramaphosa walked out of what was supposed to be a memorial lecture in honour of Lillian Ngoyi.
A News24 report said that the president had to be whisked away by presidential protection unit agents.
The report quoted ANCWL deputy president Sisi Ntombela, who was the programme director, as saying that individuals who had gained access to the venue without being adequately screened had posed a grave security risk.
“Given the recent events that have befallen our country [the burning of Parliament and the attack on the Constitutional Court precinct], we cannot take risks with the life of the president,” the report quoted Ntombela as saying.
But Kodwa maintained that there was no security threat around the president.
“The president will address the people of South Africa on behalf of the ANC on January 8, so there shouldn’t be any worries,” said Kodwa, according to EWN.
Meanwhile, a Times Live report quoted party spokesperson Pule Mabe as saying that it was the ANCWL president Bathabile Dlamini who made the call for the cancellation of the event due to non-compliance with Covid-19 regulations at the venue.
“The leadership of the ANC Women’s League, led by president Bathabile Dlamini, made the call for the event to be postponed and a new date will be conveyed when the president of the ANC will deliver the all-important lecture honouring the legacy of Lillian Ngoyi.
“The Lilian Ngoyi memorial lecture could not proceed due to the event being oversubscribed by members of our organisations and communities at large,” said Mabe.
The lecture was meant to form part of the planned build-up of activities for the party’s 110th January 8th anniversary, the report said.
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