Reports that presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is receiving preferential treatment have thrust her in the firing line with political parties demanding an explanation for her VIP protection.
The former African Union commission chair's reputation has been tainted by scandal since her return to South African politics in March.
Dlamini-Zuma's alleged preferential treatment has resulted in the Congress of the People laying charges of abuse of power against Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Sunday.
Party spokesperson Dennis Bloem said the charges related to the police's offer of a VIP protection service to Dlamini-Zuma.
"We feel that the minister has violated this presidential protection unit's mandate. He must go and answer questions in court."
The Democratic Alliance (DA) said it would write to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to ask that she urgently investigates the use of state resources to provide protection to Dlamini-Zuma despite holding no position that would justify her protection.
The DA's Zakhele Mbhele said the Sunday Times' report made it clear that there were spurious "security threats" on which Mbalula is relying to justify this protection.
The newspaper reported that Dlamini-Zuma was afforded VIP protection after an alleged robbery attempt near a boutique hotel in Houghton, Johannesburg. However, neither the manager of the 10 2nd Avenue hotel nor a security guard on the premises knew anything about the incident.
"Indeed, it is clear that she was receiving VIP protection prior to her arrival at the hotel where the supposed 'threat' occurred. The fact that he [Mbalula] will not come out and make clear the true basis of these supposed threats make us increasingly concerned that there is an abuse of state resources at play."
National police spokesperson Major General Sally de Beer said in a statement that Dlamini-Zuma continues to receive protection from the Presidential Protection Unit (PPU) fully in accordance with their mandate and prescripts, informed by a threat and security assessment.
She refused to divulge more on the alleged security assessment.
Attack on education
On Friday, Dlamini-Zuma made a controversial statement that learners at former Model C schools are "taught against the ANC".
"It's not surprising that kids will think the ANC is corrupt‚ [or that the] ANC is useless because this is what they are fed at school."
She alleged that some universities, such as the University of the Witwatersrand, refused to allow their students to call South Africa a democracy.
She claimed most schools would only say there is democracy and freedom in South Africa once another party took over.
Reacting to her statement, the DA said Dlamini-Zuma's comments can only be interpreted as a direct attack on Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, "since it's the minister's job to ensure that the curriculum is appropriate and that schools are not politicised".
The DA's Gavin Davis said it was incumbent on Motshekga to set Dlamini-Zuma straight on what is being taught in South African classrooms.
"If the Minister happens to agree with Dlamini-Zuma, then she needs to explain how she has allowed public schools to become a hotbed of anti-ANC sentiment under her watch."
Dlamini-Zuma's Twitter feed raised eyebrows after a tweet dismissing Save SA's march for Zuma to step down.
Dlamini-Zuma claimed that the tweet sent from her verified account was a fake.
"I am aware of a fake tweet doing rounds purportedly coming from my account. The source of this is currently being investigated," said the apparent contender for the presidency in 2019.
Before it was swiftly removed, the tweet read: "... this is what they protecting... hence some of us not part of this rubbish... they must join us for the march for our land they stole".Suggest a correction