The man who was accused of issuing Julius Malema an assault rifle at a rally in East London which he then fired into the air has been identified as Adriaan Snyman, the owner of a Bluff security company who has been protecting the EFF leader since 2011.

Snyman is the owner of Tactical Security Services, which according to their website comprises of highly trained ex-police and military personnel.

Snyman and Malema’s relationship was first brought into the spotlight in 2011 when heavily-armed Tactical Security Services guards accompanied Malema – who was then president of the ANCYL –  to his hate speech hearing at the Equality Court.

Snyman, denied handling the riffle to Malema, saying “he took it without my consent”.

Snyman did not return calls made by the Daily News at the time of publishing.

Malema caused outrage when a video showing him discharging the firearm at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium.