Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has issued a public apology following a controversial statement in which he seemed to suggest a limited tenure for an unnamed minister who allegedly failed to recognize crime wardens in Johannesburg. The incident stemmed from a circulating video on social media where Lesufi voiced dissatisfaction with the perceived lack of support for the “amaPanyaza” crime prevention wardens.
Lesufi expressed frustration in the video, asserting, “We have trained these young people to be police wardens. You, as a minister, are refusing to recognize them. Your days are numbered. You want to undermine them.” He further appealed to the minister, advocating for granting power to the wardens to carry firearms for township protection.
In response to the social media uproar and speculation surrounding the minister’s identity, Lesufi issued an apology within 24 hours of the video’s circulation. On his social media platform, he expressed disappointment with the unauthorized release of an internal political presentation, clarifying that his intention was to provide an update on challenges faced in implementing crime-fighting initiatives rather than launching an attack on a specific minister.
Lesufi acknowledged that the leaked content appeared insensitive and threatening, taking full responsibility for his words. He expressed regret that the excerpt did not convey the broader context of their support for law enforcement efforts. Furthermore, he committed to reconciling with the minister affected by the statement, emphasizing his dedication to resolving the matter amicably.