The three former South African police officers in the grips of Ghana’s Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) were engaged by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to train some party members to control crowds around the flagbearer of the party, Deputy Director of Communications, Perry Okudzeto has disclosed.
The three retired South African police officers were picked up at Agona Duakwa in the Central Region for allegedly engaging in activities that threaten the nation’s security.
The three – Major Ahmed Shaik (retd), 54, Warrant Officer Denver Dwahye, 33, and Captain Mlungiseli Jokani, 45 – were picked up at the El-Capitano Hotel where they had been based since arriving in the country early this month.
They were said to be training some fifteen young people in various security drills, including unarmed combat, weapon handling, VIP protection techniques, and rapid response manoeuvres.
Responding to the claims that the three were training terrorists, Mr Okudzeto pointed out that the “people who are being trained are being trained for crowd control. They are bodyguards of our presidential candidate and his running mate. They are not training them as mercenaries and [they are] not being trained illegally. This is under the auspices of a registered security company here in Ghana”.
He also debunked reports that the NPP had brought terrorists into the country and accused the BNI of peddling falsehood to give the party a bad name.
“The way the BNI presented the issue and the way the media presented the issue, putting a certain spin on it as if the NPP has brought terrorists into this country, is very irresponsible,” he noted.
According to him, the party followed due process in engaging the services of the foreigners to train the NPP security ahead of the 2016 general elections on November 7.
Responding to a question on whether the security company notified the Interior Ministry about the exercise involving the three South Africans coming to train the individuals, he said: “Of course they [the company] did and was up to the company [to have those details].
“There are protocols for it and of course a security firm here in Ghana that is registered and trains people regularly is the one undertaking this operation.”
He emphasised that the exercise was not meant to destabilise the security of the country.
“They are not training them on how to use arms, they are not training them to engage in any combative exercise, and it is routine,” he added.
He also disclosed that their lawyers were working on the matter.