The Minister of Police Bheki Cele spoke to journalists in Polokwane ahead of the ANC’s big 110th birthday bash at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday, 8 January.
He confirmed what many suspected and said the electricity disruption during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech at the party’s fundraiser gala on Friday night was no accident.
The lights went out while Ramaphosa was speaking at the Protea Ranch Hotel in Limpopo at approximately 21:30.
Shortly after the disruption, security officers whisked Ramaphosa and his second in command, Deputy President David Mabuza, away from the gala venue. Fifteen minutes later the lights were turned back on.
“When they went to the box, somebody had indeed interfered with the plug that only deals with the lights in that hall,” said Cele.
The Minister of Police said the entire venue’s lights were working except the hall in which Ramaphosa spoke. “Which means the plugs themselves were working,” said Cele. He added that even the speakers were still working in the darkened hall.
“Police can’t just come and give what happened without investigating. We are investigating that and we are very hopeful that we are on the right direction,” said Cele.
The police minister opted not to describe the tampering as sabotage but told journalists that is the term they could use if they wanted to. The investigation is underway and Cele is sure someone interfered with the speech.