Pubdate: Fri, 28 Sep 2007
Source: Cape Times (South Africa)
Copyright: 2007 Cape Times


Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille says she has information that agent
provocateurs were planning to infiltrate the anti-drug group Padlac
and stir up violence.

She said this was part of a smear campaign to discredit her and Padlac
(People's Anti-Drug and Liquor Action Committee).

In response to Community Safety MEC Leonard Ramatlakane's claim that
Padlac was connected to vigilante attacks in Mitchells Plain, Zille
said on Thursday senior intelligence sources had informed her that ANC
members orchestrated the smear campaign.

"MEC Leonard Ramatlakane's attack on me confirmed leaked information I
received following my arrest last month, of a smear campaign. This
information was also confirmed at the weekend when police sources and
members of community police forums passed the media information that
Padlac was involved in vigilante activity in Mitchells Plain - and
linking me, by association, to these activities.

"I have this morning (Thursday), again been informed that there are
plans afoot to escalate this campaign, including planting of agent
provocateurs in the organisation following the end of Ramadaan and
that weapons will be distributed in order to escalate violence," Zille

She said the campaign was also part of attempts by her detractors to
influence the outcome of a illegal gathering case against her which
goes to court next month.

She rejected Ramatlakane's claim that Padlac had links with another
anti-crime group, Delta Force.

"The information comes from very senior intelligence sources in the
Western Cape. It is wrong for the ANC to use an institution of state
for party political strategies. Some state institutions don't like
being used.

"I've known for some time, but it is has now come for me to say what I
know. Fortunately I've been there and done this before, I recognise
the same symptoms as we've had in the past and I recognise smearing,"
Zille said.

Padlac leader Fasieg Adams said that to guard Padlac against
infiltration by provocateurs, it would have an easily verifiable
registry of membership, introduce clear identification cards and bar
anyone associated with vigilantism from joining.

"So far about 300 people have joined and none of them have been
arrested. We are a passive resistance movement against drugs and crime
and do not support vigilantism," Adams said.

"We have also introduced a strict code of conduct. All our members
will be identifiable, so no baseless allegations can be made against
us. No one will be a member of Padlac unless they've signed the
application form."

On Wednesday, Ramatlakane called Padlac a vigilante group and said
police arrested 12 people connected to Delta Force. He said Delta
Force acted as Padlac's militant wing.

Approached for comment on Zille's assertions, Ramatlakane's
spokesperson, Makhaya Mani, said: "The MEC is of the view that he does
not want to be part of a public slanging match with Helen Zille. All
he wants to talk about is the positive work of police in Mitchells

Asked why Ramatlakane raised the issue of vigilantism and associated
it with Zille's support for Padlac, Mani said: "He (Ramatlakane)
doesn't want to be drawn into that anymore. When he spoke of
vigilantism, he referred to Padlac."

Delta Force leader Mohamed Ebrahim could not be reached for

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Cape Times on
September 28, 2007
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MAP posted-by: Steve Heath