Zimbabwe Review

Reflections on Zimbabwe

Zuma motorcade and worrying signs of Zimbabwe trends

Posted by CM on June 29, 2007

This April 2007 report will sound familiar to any Zimbabwean motorist who has been scared off the road by presidential motorcade escorts. But it is not a report from Zimbabwe, nor of a presidential motorcade!

The speeding “blue-light” vehicle convoy, that angered many Kwazulu-Natal motorists using the N3 highway in April has been identified as that of former deputy president Jacob Zuma, The Witness newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, its switchboard was flooded with calls from motorists who said they were pushed off the N3 on Sunday by a blue-light convoy. It reported that a Pietermaritzburg man, Faizel Mooideen, had a rifle pointed at him and his family by security officers who tried to push them out off a lane on the highway.

A woman, too scared to identify herself, said the convoy consisted of two black BMW X5s and a blue Range Rover and was apparently the same convoy that threatened Mooideen and his family. According to the woman, a group of guards from the convoy, while on a stopover at the Engen One Stop on the N3, aggressively pushed patrons out of their way while doing a security check of the area.

She then confirmed that Zuma, with security guards accompanying him, got out of one of the vehicles and made his way to the toilets. “Others witnessing the scene made comments like ‘Who does he think he is?’,” the woman was quoted as saying.

And the man does not even have an official position! The behaviour is not so much about security, but about arrogantly asserting power and intimidating citizens to show impunity to do so. We are very familiar with this in Zimbabwe.

If this is the way Zuma’s convoy behaves now, how would they treat the public should he ever become president of that country? I wish South Africa well, but I worry for it.

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