Ethekwini councilors could be walking around with armed security guards. The municipality is considering hiring VIP guards following requests from councilors who claim that their lives have been threatened in the run-up to next year’s municipal elections. James Nxumalo, the Speaker of the Ethekwini Municipal Council, told the executive committee that the death threats will “get worse due to the jostling for positions in the run-up to the polls”. Nxumalo said that his office had received many requests for VIP guards from councilors who claim that they are receiving death threats. A councilor told Daily Sun that some of the death threats are being made by their own party members. ” There are a number of people who want to be councilors. They see it as a way of getting jobs. They will go to any length to get nominated. The threats are very real”, said the councilor. Nxumalo said currently there is no polity to guide council on how to deal with the security if councilors. The executive commeettee asked city manager Michael Sutcliffe and Mayor Obed Mlaba to urgently develop a policy for the provision of security to councilors. In the meantime, an interim policy will be put in place to provide security to councilors who are at risk. “We have also engaged intelligence services so that all the claims will be investigated – we don’t want anyone to make false claims.” Said Nxumalo. Former cop and private investigator Reggie Horne of Justicia Investigations, whose company offers guards, said it will cost between R20 000 and R30 000 a month to protect each councilor