bolekaja

Wizard of the Crow Comes to South Africa….

In we shall be the prey and the vulture on February 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm

24 hour nightmare for waving away the president

16 February 2010

by Anna Majavu, The Sowetan

Jogger told: you insulted the president

A Cape Town student says his life has been “destroyed” after he was arrested last week for “waving away” President Jacob Zuma’s noisy, blue-light convoy.

A “notice of rights” document issued by police shows that Chumani Maxwele, 25, was charged with “Crimen injuria against the president of the RSA”.

Maxwele was jogging on Cape Town’s De Waal Drive just before 6pm last Wednesday when a convoy of six government cars sped past him.

“I waved them away, as if to say ‘hamba’, because of the noise. After that a black BMW X5 pulled up and three guys jumped out, pointing guns at me,” Maxwele told Sowetan.

This was the start of a 24-hour nightmare for Maxwele, who is an active member of the ANC’s Cissie Gool branch in Woodstock, a fact confirmed by his chairperson Vanessa Wood.

“They pushed me into their car and shouted at me that I had disrespected the president. They pulled a bag over my head and drove me to Zuma’s residence,” Maxwele said.

He was transferred first to the Rondebosch police station and then to the Mowbray police station.

Mowbray police accused him of saying that Zuma had seven wives. They claimed he insulted Zuma – and told him “intelligence” agents would deal with him.

The next morning, people whom he believed to be intelligence agents arrived to interrogate him.

“They said they were from a higher office in Pretoria. They asked me my opinion of Zuma. I told them I support Zuma as a disciplined member of the ANC. I didn’t know it was Zuma’s convoy. It could have been Helen Zille’s convoy, but they jumped to this conclusion that I am a Zuma hater,” Maxwele said.

The “agents” also asked Maxwele for his friends’ names and those of the chairpersons of his ANC branch and of his community policing forum.

Maxwele said the agents told him “be careful what you do when a convoy passes because people are sensitive. Don’t touch your head or your waist”.

In the meantime, plain-clothes officers raided his house, going through his personal diaries and notebooks.

Maxwele spent the day in holding cells underneath Wynberg magistrate’s court. Almost 24 hours after his arrest, police arrived and told him to “get out”.

“I didn’t appear before a magistrate. I feel destroyed because this can have a bad impact on my quest for future employment and travelling.”

Maxwele will consult lawyers on what action to take against the police. “That’s my jogging route. What if I see the convoy again? Must I abide by an invisible law?”

Meanwhile, the identity of the agents remains a mystery. National Intelligence Agency spokesperson Fikani Dube said “none of our members were involved”.

Zweli Mnisi, spokesperson for Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, could not confirm that police intelligence officers were involved.

Constable Monique Hendricks of Mowbray police station confirmed that “the state” had charged Maxwele with “crimen injuria” around “a Zuma matter”.

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