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'VIP guards should be held accountable'

An EWN reporter has opened a case after being slapped by one of Zuma's bodyguards.

A screengrab of the presidential motorcade leaving Nelson Mandela's Houghton home on 18 November 2013. Picture: EWN>

JOHANNESBURG - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) says the only way to change the behaviour of police officers in the VIP Protection Services Unit is to hold them strictly accountable for their actions.

Eyewitness News reporter Reinart Toerien has opened a case against one of President Jacob Zuma's bodyguards after being assaulted outside Nelson Mandela's Houghton home on Monday.

The officer leaped out of a car window to try and knock a camera out of Toerien's hands, but ended up slapping him and shouting 'voetsek' as he drove away.

The incident has been widely condemned and described as 'disgraceful' by Eyewitness News editor Katy Katopodis.

The institute's Gareth Newham says politicians being guarded must lead by example.

"The president himself should take action when he sees a member of his unit acting criminally or committing misconduct because it's a direct representation of his protection unit."

The case opened against Zuma's bodyguard will be investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

(Edited By Tamsin Wort)