Action Society reacted strongly after Minister Bheki Cele’s fake and outrageous response to a parliamentary question by the IFP yesterday. Minister Cele explained that the national policing strategy fulfils the purpose of a proper policing plan to combat violent crime and regain community trust.
“Minister Bheki Cele, your plans have not worked since you became the Minister of Police. In fact, things have gotten considerably worse, with a 62% increase in murder in the last ten years in South Africa, and most of the increase was while you were the minister,” said Ian Cameron, Director of Community Safety at Action Society. “Your failure to give strategic guidance and oversight to the South African Police Service since you were appointed as the Minister of Police has reached the point where 84 people are murdered daily in the country. That is almost four murders per hour.
“Don’t sugar coat parliament with plans like the national policing strategy (NPS) when you know it is completely dysfunctional and not being implemented as you have falsely promised since 2019. It seems you underestimate civilian intelligence in the country. Are you that far removed from reality?”
Cameron also explained that the minister’s claims of increasing numbers of police members without answering how specialised units would be reinstated along with the necessary depth, knowledge and training leaves much to be desired.
“The minister also lies to the public when he says that they work closely with other state departments to solve the crime issue; if that were the case, conviction rates wouldn’t be at an all-time low, and we wouldn’t be seeing that only 14,5% of murders are solved in the country.”
The minister also fails to answer for the recruitment scandal taking place in the South African Police Service for the last few years, where new recruits allegedly paid their way in. They take the spots of people that deserve to be appointed and receive police training because they are the calibre and integrity. As a result, individuals we need in the uniform don’t get the opportunities they should.
Action Society has time and again proposed several simple solutions to fix the South African Police Service with the SAPS, but leadership in the police as well as the Ministry of Police, fail to give any form of feedback when we have tried to engage in amicable discussion.
We have proposed the following:
- Build a synchronised strategy that includes the Department of Justice and Correctional Services, as well as the Department of Social Development;
- Return specialised units;
- Pay police members properly;
- Give proper career guidance for a sustainable future as a member in blue;
- Bring back reservist capacity;
- Bring back crime intelligence capacity;
- Increase detective capacity;
- Decentralise forensic labs;
- Stop cadre deployment; and
- Polygraph all senior members and investigate their involvement in corruption.
Support Action Society’s campaign to remove Bheki Cele as Minister of Police here.