The DA’s 2016 mayoral candidate for Ekurhuleni Ghaleb Cachalia got more than he bargained for when he went to have a look at how the protest against the Gupta family is going in Saxonwold.
Cachalia told News24 that he was intimidated by one of the family’s guards after a “heated exchange” at around 10pm on Tuesday.
He said he had gone to offer the protesters moral support, and said he recognised one of the protesters and said hi when he arrived. He said that life at the Gupta compound appears to be continuing as normal, with cars coming in and out.
When he saw one of the guards “glaring” at them, he decided to apparently be friendly and say good morning to the guard, but the man told him not to come any closer and then evidently reached for his firearm.
The guard, speaking in a heavy Afrikaans accent, told the protesters to just leave them alone and not bother them. Cachalia, however, was adamant that he would not accept a firearm being pointed at him or being reached for.
He told the guard: “You pull that gun out, you’re in big trouble, Boy.”
The guard told him not to point his finger at him and accused Cachalia of being “insulting”.
He added “step away!” and then shouted the F-word while showing the middle finger (which he did again later), to which Cachalia responded with, “Ohhh!”
“I don’t want to talk to you guys! I don’t know if you’re a threat to me,” the guard told the protesters, one of whom (a woman) responded with, “We’re not really scary.”
Cachalia used to be a member of the ANC whose parents, Yusuf and Amina Cachalia, were struggle royalty in the Congress movement. Ghaleb joined the DA in the run-up to the 2016 elections, however, after experiencing severe disillusionment at the ANC under President Jacob Zuma.
The anonymous taker of the video (sourced from News24) says the guards have continually been trying to intimidate them.
They have been protesting against the family because of its perceived influence over Zuma and the reasons behind last week’s devastating cabinet reshuffle, which has now seen South Africa downgraded to junk by one credit ratings agency, with more expected to follow suit.
The protesters are carrying placards protesting primarily state capture and the nuclear deal.
It was also reported on Monday that a Rosebank police officer, a metro police officer as well as five to seven private security guards were stationed outside the Gupta house, on the corner of Saxonwold Drive and Methwold Road in Johannesburg.
It was alleged the police officers refused to talk to the media about their reasons for being outside the politically connected Gupta house.
“Police are nonresponsive, they just stare at you,” said a journalist.