Macron’s former bodyguard stirs the pot with consulting work

11 January 2019 2 min. read
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French president Emmanuel Macron’s former bodyguard, Alexandre Benalla, who was fired after physically assaulting protestors during a May Day rally in Paris in July, is again in hot water.

News has now surfaced that Benalla, 27, travelled to Chad in Decemeber, where he met with President Idriss Deby regarding “consulting” work. The meeting was held shortly before Macron himself visited the country. French daily newspaper Le Monde also reported that Benalla attended an October meeting with Congo President Denis Sassou-Nguesso, as well as with top officials in Cameroon. 

In a December 22 letter seen by the AFP, Macron’s office chief Patrick Strzoda warned Benalla against revealing confidential information the bodyguard may have learned during his tenure with the French president. President Macron served as the Minister of Economy, Industry, and Digital Affairs from 2014-2016 before taking over as former president François Hollande's duties in 2017.

Macron’s former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla“Let us be clear: we forbid you from claiming you have any kind of recommendation or tacit support from the presidency,” Strzoda wrote. “With regard to your current personal activities, we ask you to ensure they are conducted with strict respect for the confidentiality and ethical responsibilities of your time in this office.” 

The French Foreign Ministry confirmed that Benalla was issued two diplomatic passports, but was ordered to return them after his firing. The ministry said it would consider legal action had either of the passports been used for the recent African trips.

In a statement, Benalla denied using influence gained from his previous employment to earn new work. “Today, I’m doing consulting work. I’m working in around 10 countries in Africa,” he told Le Monde.

Africa’s consulting industry is estimated to be worth more than $2.4 billion, according to an estimate by a UK-based analyst firm, with Southern Africa making up around two-thirds of the landscape. South Africa, Nigeria, and Morocco house the largest number of consulting firms.