The Press and the Stars

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By Donna Collins Swakopmund While the world was two weeks ago celebrating the birth of Shiloh Nouvele Jolie-Pitt, the Brangelina camp security was conducting a sinister crackdown on the media, in an all out effort to prevent any photos of the new mother being taken by unwanted press. In a specific case, a 59-year-old Walvis Bay ex-policeman and former heart attack victim Leon Botha was hired by the Brangelina “security squad” leader Johan Cotze to keep a 48-hour surveillance on me. His orders were to “give me a taste of my own medicine and scare me”. I first spotted the ominous metallic gold Nissan X-Trail parked outside my house in Vineta one morning, when it was apparent that the car was shadowing my every move. On approaching the man behind the steering wheel to ask if I could help him, he just stared at me menacingly and refused to talk. “I was given orders not to talk to Collins, but to just “skrik” her he told the police later,” I was later reliably told. Scared to death by this unnerving presence, I headed straight to the Swakopmund Police Station where I reported the matter and sought protection. “I told the police that I feared the motives of this strange man who was stalking me and did not know what his intentions were. I am a single mother and fear for my life,” I told the police. Whilst taking refuge in the police station, members of the police witnessed the vehicle circling around the building four times, during which time one of the constables took down the registration number of the vehicle with a South African plate number. After about 30 minutes, I left the building and returned to work. Minutes later, I received a phone call to say that the quick action of Constable Francis had apprehended the man whilst driving through town. It was decided that they would deal with the matter in the presence of the Swakopmund Station Commander, Inspector Ottilie Kashupulya at 14h00. Botha returned to the police station accompanied by attorney Werner van Rensberg who had been called by Cotze to defend the man. Inspector Kashupulya spoke to Cotze telephonically in her office, and said he must call his man off. “You cannot keep someone under surveillance from their house – you have no right – and this is unacceptable behaviour.” “While the police have pledged to protect these Hollywood stars, it is also important for us to protect our own citizens,” she said.” I explained to Inspector Kashupulya that the orders from these men were not from law enforcement officers, or men in uniform with security accreditation, but instead freelance tour operators and local guys who have been appointed as security look-outs around the Burning Shore. “When you see me around, you know I am a journalist armed with a camera, but when I have frightening strangers parked day and night outside my house, who knows what he is capable of doing. By the way he looked at me I was petrified he would take a gun out and shoot me,” I told the inspector. Van Rensberg spoke to Cotze at the police station and asked him to in future inform me about their intentions before depositing surveillance outside my front door as it was disturbing to have a strange man trailing me. It was agreed that he would back off. When asked if Botha was going to continue trailing the journalist now that she had a formal introduction, shocked by the “dirt campaign” he said he was going home and did not like the way those people were operating. The next day I received a mysterious phone call from a man who announced that he was neither a psychopath nor a killer, but was a new man on the Brangelina security payroll to tail me. “Just so that you are not too alarmed, I am just informing you that I am the newly appointed man who will be following you around,” he said threateningly. I reported the incident again to the police when I noticed the man parked outside my house the following morning. Mickey Brett was called into the Swakopmund Police station and told the police that he was there to protect the rights of not only Angelina’s privacy but of local citizens as well.