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Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

Police apprehended a Zimbabwean national who allegedly attempted to receive accreditation to the inauguration of president-elect Cyril Ramaphosa using an identity document belonging to a deceased person.

The individual, who is in custody, told police he bought the ID from a home affairs official and has been using it since 2000.

He was flagged by the State Security Agency, whose system caught him during the vetting process.

The individual is alleged to have said he worked for one of the service providers at the inauguration ceremony taking place at the Union Buildings on Wednesday.

“On Monday the individual presented himself at the accreditation centre and was trying to obtain accreditation. He apparently said he works for a service provider. The system immediately detected he is using an ID that belonged to a deceased person,” said police spokesperson Brig Athlenda Mathe.

“We immediately apprehended him and he is in police custody. The charges he is facing are fraud and contravention of the Immigration Act.”

Mathe said police were working with home affairs to determine how he obtained the ID.

She said the crime was of a serious nature and could result in imprisonment or deportation. She said police would investigate the cause of death of the original owner of the ID to determine whether the person was killed for the purposes of selling the document.

IEC intimidation

Meanwhile, Mathe said police were searching for about 15 suspects who tried to storm the Electoral Commission of SA’s warehouse in Booysens on Tuesday.

“They presented themselves in five cars and demanded entry into the warehouse. They said they wanted access to ballots to check if they had been counted. We have registered a case of intimidation,” she said.

“We are studying the footage and evidence to check who these people are affiliated with and if they belong to a political party.”

Heads of states of SA’s Western trade allies will not attend Ramaphosa's inauguration, but African leaders started arriving on Tuesday to witness his swearing in. Heads of state from eSwatini, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Angola, Tanzania and Uganda had committed to attend the inauguration. 

China’s President Xi Jinping and Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, are expected to attend. 

ANC allies from the Palestinian Territories and Cuba arrived on Tuesday. 

Ramaphosa’s administration had a contentious relationship with its Western partners during his first term. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic he took on the EU and the US, calling out the superpowers for hogging vaccines. 

He was at loggerheads with the US in 2023 when Washington accused SA of loading arms destined for Russia during its war in Ukraine. The rift had the potential to jeopardise trade relations, including an extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. 

US President Joe Biden and his counterparts in the EU congratulated Ramaphosa on his second term after he was elected last week. 

While Ramaphosa has retained his seat of political power in Pretoria, he will go down in history as the party leader in charge when the ANC lost its majority for the first time in 30 years. 

Ramaphosa is the fourth ANC president to preside over the country since 1994. This administration will prove to be the toughest for the ANC president with the party sharing cabinet posts with its opposition. 

After his inauguration Ramaphosa will select his new cabinet. He must include the ANC’s partners — the DA, IFP, PA, GOOD and PAC — when he forms the executive. 

The DA is aiming to take positions in the economic cluster and departments linked to service delivery. 


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