Winnie Mandela should be investigated: cop

Madikizela-Mandela should be investigated – charges at Brooklyn police station

Feb 13 2011. Pretoria – According to criminal charges lodged at Brooklyn police station on Friday, flying squad warrant Officer Jannie Odendaal and his colleague had chased ANC MP Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s luxury car twice down the motorway, not once. And the second time, he had called in the dog unit for back-up as her car slewed off the M1 at the Grayston offramp – instead of heading to Pretoria as her driver had told him it would.

Odendaal has submitted charges of defeating the ends of justice against ANC-MP Madikizela-Mandela, assault and defeating the ends of justice against her bodyguard, Jacob Monare, and reckless and negligent driving against her driver, Philemon Buthelezi.

ODENDAAL Jannie sues Winnie Mandela over suppression of his rights Fb2011 Pretoria In his documents, he submitted details of the incident for which he and his colleague, Abel Twala, were suspended without pay while they are being investigated. He said in his submission that he had only called off the pursuit of Mandela’s luxury-car when someone from an unnamed civilian tracking company – in a breach of the police radio network – contacted him on his car radio and asked if ‘there was anything wrong with the Audi A6 he was pursuing’. These allegations are amongst others contained in an affidavit handed in by Warrant Officer Jannie Odendaal at the Brooklyn police station on Feb 11 2011.The former flying squad officer is under investigation for his ‘conduct’ on December 30 last year, including for speaking to the press.

He has been suspended without pay. This week he fought back – assisted by labour union Solidarity, opening a case of defeating the ends of justice against Madikizela-Mandela, assault and defeating the ends of justice against her bodyguard, Jacob Monare, and reckless and negligent driving against the ANC veteran’s driver, Philemon Buthelezi. Odendaal and his partner, Abel Twala, had been patrolling the M1 north-bound in the area of Xavier Road in Joburg on December 30 last year when they spotted a silver-grey Audi A6 with tinted windows travelling at high speed and weaving dangerously through traffic.

The South African Institute of Race Relations has also warned  that ‘the behaviour of senior managers in the South African Police Force, around the recent Winnie Mandela incident, damages police morale, the rule of law, and the fight against crime.”

The Afrikaans officer and his black colleague who lives in Soweto, were  severely punished by their commanding officer SAPS genl. Petros just for doing their jobs: Odendaal’s service pistol was taken away from him after the incident, he was transferred 70km from his East Rand home to Soweto, his colleague was transferred 70km away from his Soweto home to the East Rand…. and Odendaal was suspended without pay.

Far too dangerous to work without my service pistol:

Odendaal said that after the incident, he signed himself out on sick leave due to all the stress: he says it’s far too dangerous for him to work without his service pistol and he also has to drive his own car 140km each day, which expenses he cannot afford. . He’s deeply hurt by the fact that his commanding officer, Genl. Petros, refuses to back them up.

‘Bring the white cop to my house to apologise…

Mrs Mandela demanded from Genl. Petros that the ‘white man must personally apologise to her in her home’. Considerable pressure was put on Odendaal to apologise to her, with one leading SAPS officer telling him in Petros’ office: “Mrs Mandela fought for the freedom of our country and you must apologise to her.’ Odendaal said at that point he was ‘thinking of apologising because my career would be in danger if I didn’t. “However he decided not to, he said in the interview, because ‘far too many important people show such contempt and utter disrespect for law and order’.

  • Following is a brief summary (not a word-by-word translation) of warrant/officer Odendaal’s  radio-interview of his encounter with Winnie Mandela and her body-guard to Solidarity:

He works for the Emergency Response unit at the East Rand and has been a police-officer since 1991. It is part of his job to react to violent crimes in progress but it’s also part of his job to pull over suspect vehicles while patrolling the freeways. On December 30 he and his colleague noticed a high-speed silver Audi luxury car with tinted windows driving with bright headlights on the M7 freeway north of Golden City.  They checked on the radio with the vehicle-tracker and were advised that the car had been reported stolen and was registered in the name of a company in Soweto. They didn’t know who was inside, the car had tinted windows. The police-team, driving in an unmarked Mercedes, flashed their blue-strobe lights, indicating that the driver of the silver Audi had to pull over. ‘It didn’t, we kept following it with our lights flashing but they did slow down and waved a hand-radio from the window’. Odendaal said he recognised this hand-radio: ‘it was not a police issue item and such radios are often used in armed robberies, so we decided to keep following them and called in for backup from the dog-patrol unit’. The Audi finally stopped at the Jan Smuts avenue turnoff, pointing in the direction of Sandton.  Odendaal said he and his colleague got out of their vehicle, with his colleague, as is routine, backing him up with an R1 rifle. The rifle was pointed downwards, he said. Odendaal said as he tapped on the car-boot, it was opened from the inside, while a ‘burly, strong-looking’ male passenger jumped from the Audi and immediately accosted him, pushing the officer on the chest and shouting at him, telling him that Mrs Mandela was in the car, that ‘they weren’t allowed to search the vehicle, because this wasn’t apartheid any more’.  Odendaal said he shoved the man back and then walked back to the police vehicle to fetch his Tazer. “I told the man to stop assaulting me or I would fire the Tazer’, he said. Then a second passenger, a woman who he did not immediately recognise, jumped from the car and immediately started ranting, shouting and screaming abuse at him. “I didn’t recognise her as Mrs Mandela. She had this white powder-make up all over her face and she looked much older than she does in her newspaper pictures,’ he said. Mrs Mandela and her body guard kept shouting and yelling at the police officers. Odendaal said he was indeed ‘very shocked at the lack of respect they showed for our police uniforms and the contempt with which they spoke to us.’ Then the driver got out of the Audi too and Odendaal started exchanging information with him, both men were calm. He said the driver was ‘courteous and calm at all times’.  While Odendaal was speaking to the driver, telling him that the police-team had to search the car, as those were Genl. Petros’ orders, Mrs Mandela yelled at the driver to ‘stop this at once, everyone got back into the Audi and they drove off. “ Odendaal said they continued to follow the car until they received confirmation  that the ‘stolen-car’ warning had been withdrawn, that it was  ‘sorted out’. The police-officers, including the dog-patrol unit which had joined them in the meantime, then  returned to their police-station, where they filed a detailed incident report. Odendaal said he had ‘expected his commanding officers to back him up because I was doing my job’. He was shocked when they didn’t:

  • After this incident, Mrs Mandela became so irate that she demanded that the SAPS chef Petros bring the ‘white cop to her house to apologise to her’. Petros apparently received this order directly from SAPS Genl. Gela – who is his brother in law.

Solidarity trade union’s spokesman Dirk Hermann also issued a statement warning the Mandela-clan and her “aggressive body guards to leave the young cop alone.  Solidarity stands 100 percent behind our member and will not allow him to be bullied.’ 

Bullying of police officers by the power-mad elite must stop

Hermann: “We have ordered our legal team to provide their full support to Odendaal if the SAPS continues with its ‘bullying tactics’ against this police-officer. We are also preparing criminal charges agaisnt Mrs Madikizela-Mandela’s body guards. This could involve assault, crimen injuria and attempts to divert the course of justice. We cannot allow that ordinary citizens are pushed around like this by the political elite and organisations. We plan to push back. On the one side we stand up for this one member but on the other side we also stand up to fight on behalf of every defenceless individual against the power-mad elite. In a healthy democracy ordinary citizens receive protection and we plan to protect this important aspect of our democracy.’

About Adriana Stuijt
Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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