Bishop Vusi Dube in R5 rifle row
Durban - Bishop Vusi Dube, an ANC provincial legislature member in KwaZulu-Natal, has deemed a picture doing the rounds on social media of him carrying a rifle as “politicking” and “undisciplined comrade behaviour”.
The picture of Dube carrying what seems to be an R5 assault rifle was posted on Twitter on Saturday by fellow provincial legislature member Vusi Khoza, who represents the EFF.
In a caption with the picture, Khoza addressed the SAPS, asking them to investigate “this criminal” and also alleging that Dube laundered money via his church, the eThekwini Community Church.
“Dear @SAPoliceService, please investigate this criminal, a fervent supporter of another criminal called Jacob Zuma. He runs a money laundering scheme called Ethekwini Community Church on what was formerly known as Smith Street, Durban. He also moonlights as ANC MPL. #Cashheist,” Khoza tweeted.
He tweeted to the SAPS that they should “approach with caution” as Dube was “armed and dangerous”.
“To members of the public, don’t try to apprehend him. Please call @SAPoliceService. Who must call the Hawks. Who must call the NIU. Who must ask for SANDF back-up. A crew of taxi rank hitmen could also help,” Khoza tweeted.
Speaking to The Mercury on Sunday, Dube said the picture was taken more than 10 years ago and had “purposely resurfaced” now.
Accordingto him, the picture was taken while he was relaxing with friends and the firearm belonged to one of them.
He said he only held it for the picture and returned the firearm afterwards.
“We must remember that this picture was posted by an EFF member just days after EFF leader Julius Malema was caught on video firing a gun, so obviously this post was an attempt to deflect from what Malema did,” Dube said.
A video has been trending showing Malema discharging a firearm at a rally in Mdantsane last month.
It is believed Malema’s bodyguard, Adriaan Snyman, handed him the gun while they danced on stage.
In the video, Malema is seen walking to the end of the stage and firing about four shots into the air. Dube claims the rifle he is holding in the picture was “inactive” and was never fired by him.
“I do not have a firearm licence and I have never owned a firearm. Vusi Khoza posted this picture, saying I am doing things with hateful purposes and raising funds for Zuma,” Dube said.
In response to Khoza’s actions, Dube said he did not want to entertain Khoza “and his people”.
However, Khoza remains adamant the picture of Dube was taken recently and not 10 years ago as Dube claims.
He said the picture was sent to him anonymously with the source questioning why a bishop would need to have a dangerous weapon.
Khoza said a bishop holding such a weapon raised alarm bells and called for authorities to investigate whose firearm was pictured, saying it also needed to be tested to find out if it was linked to any crimes.
“We are living at a time when high calibre weapons are being used in criminal acts and cash-in-transit heists.
“He is a civilian holding this gun in his backyard. So there needs to be a ful investigation,” Khoza said.
He added that he did not report the matter to the police officially and only tweeted the information to them.