Security was heightened at the OR Tambo Building – the headquarters of the Department of International Relations in Pretoria on Friday as President Jacob Zuma, as the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), convened the regional bloc’s Double Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government.
Numerous police vehicles, including Nyalas were in the premises. Vehicles entering the OR Tambo building had to go through thorough security checks first, including police dogs sniffing around them.
Inside the premises, full body scanners manned by numerous police officers had been placed at different points leading to the conference rooms. At one point, waiters from a catering company were queuing to have their packages of food and drinks scanned.
The Presidency said the Double Troika Summit on Friday was being held as a result of the recent political and security developments in the Kingdom of Lesotho where, among other things, the Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Khoantle Motsomotso was assassinated.
The Extra-Ordinary Summit is in line with the functioning of SADC where the chairperson, this time President Zuma, becomes the host of meetings during the period of chairmanship.
Zuma is expected to be joined by Heads of State and Government from the Kingdom of Swaziland, the Republic of Angola, the Republic of Tanzania and the the Republic of Namibia.
According to the programme, the heads of State summit on Friday will be preceded by ministerial meeting in the morning of the same day. Before 11am, the officials were moving in for the beginning of the ministerial meeting.
Motsomotso was killed earlier this month, while two senior officers who were allegedly responsible for the murder, were also killed in a shoot-out at a barracks in Lesotho’s capital Maseru.
Eyewitnesses said the officers burst into the army chief’s office and shot him, before being killed by guards.