Former president Jacob Zuma’s ex-bodyguard, Thulani Dlomo, has reportedly handed himself over at the Durban Central Police station.
Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase told News24 that he handed himself over at the Durban Central Police station to clear his name following allegations that he was one of the people who are believed to be the instigators of the public violence that started in KwaZulu-Natal.
Dlomo was reportedly being interviewed by police officers
In a statement seen by IOL, Dlomo denied the allegations.
“I reject with the contempt that it deserves, any attempt to link me to the unrest happening in the country. This is but a smokescreen to deflect from legitimate concerns about the arrest of President Jacob Zuma and the frustration due to poverty of the communities and people,” he was quoted as saying.
According to News24, it is alleged that Dlomo – who is the former head of a State Security Agency (SSA) special operations unit – is one of the 12 people that are being investigated by the agency for carrying out the “modus operandi”.
Dlomo is known to be one of Zuma’s most loyal supporters. In 2019, he was fired from the SSA following a number of corruption allegations levelled against him.
Zuma’s incarceration has been fingered as the ostensible trigger of the widespread riots, notably in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The death toll from violent protests around the two provinces has since risen to 212.
Daily Maverick has reported that the 12 instigators used social media in order to carry out their strategic planned attacks.
The publication cited senior ANC and security intelligence officials as their sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Screenshots of WhatsApp and Telegram messages – shared on Facebook – appear to show that the organised attacks targeted trucks, highways, and businesses.
TimesLive reported that the “Shutdown eThekwini” WhatsApp group was created only a day after Zuma was admitted to the Estcourt Correctional Centre in KwaZulu-Natal to start serving his 15-month jail sentence.
The group allegedly included ANC members and government officials.
The social media groups and messages are now being investigated by the authorities.
Additional reporting by Molefe Seeletsa