VIP Protection Unit (South Africa)

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The VIP Protection Unit is an arm of the South African Police Service responsible for the transportation of the president, deputy president, cabinet ministers and MECs. In recent years it has drawn criticism for its bullying tactics on the road. It came to particular prominence in January 2009 following its alleged assault of a civilian who came too close to South African President Kgalema Motlanthe's vehicle cavalcade. Its antics have earned it the "blue light gang" moniker.[1]

The unit has been for the most part impenitent. In the first week of February, its Gauteng regional boss, Commander Sean Tshabalala, bemoaned the public's lack of respect. "You've got that one right, comrade commander," retorted columnist Max du Preez. "If you want respect, get out of the cushy cavalcade and go and fight some crime."[2]


  • Du Preez, Max. "The cushy VIP cavalcade." News24. 4 February 2009. (accessed 6 February 2009).
  • Rondganger, Lee. "'Blue light' scandal being investigated." The Star, 7 January 2009: 5.


  1. ^ Rondganger 2009.
  2. ^ Du Preez 2009.