“My bodyguards guarded Madame Helen Zille when her party marched to Luthuli House. They protected her,” Mokonyane was quoted as saying, The Star reported on Wednesday.
“The VIPs are looking after cabinet members 24/7. They did that for Madame Zille.”
She said some of the African National Congress seniors on the campaign trail were on her executive and therefore entitled to be under 24-hour guard.
Mokonyane was responding to questions by the Democratic Alliance in the Gauteng legislature.
The premier believed the questions were intended to “craft newspaper headlines”, according to The Star.
On March 13, the ANC delegation was pelted with stones during a door-to-door campaign in Bekkersdal. The delegation included Eric Xayiya, Ntombi Mekgwe, Brian Hlongwa and Mpho Nawa.
The Bekkersdal Concerned Residents Association told Sapa residents saw ANC bodyguards with weapons in the township shooting at unarmed people, mainly school pupils.
The Star reported that the party’s bodyguards fired live ammunition at residents after disrupting schooling. The Citizen newspaper carried pictures of the episode. One was of ANC member Nelson Mdayi wearing an ANC bib with a gun behind his back. The Gauteng branch said disciplinary action would be taken against him.
At the time of the incident, ANC Gauteng caucus spokesman Mbangwa Xaba said the ANC did not have bodyguards but VIP protection, which was provided by the SA Police Service.