It has been more than a year since police minister Bheki Cele was filmed waving his finger at Ian Cameron while shouting at him to ‘shut up’ during a press conference in Imbizo. The fingers are now pointing back at Cele as he has been ordered, by parliament, to apologise to Cameron for his outburst.
“Ordering Cele to apologise is a first and appreciated step, but we believe he owes the whole country an apology. Trust in the South African Police Service (SAPS) is at an all time low and crime at such shocking levels that we landed at number three for the most unsafe countries.”
Cameron still believes that Cele should resign from office. “An honourable person would step out gracefully. But Cele seems too power hungry for that. That is why Action Society will continue to demand that he be removed from his position as Minister of Police,” according to Cameron.
The Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests found that Cele was in breach of item 10.1.1.3 read with 4.1.5 of the Code of Ethical Conduct and Disclosure of Members during this outburst. The National Assembly then recommended that Cele issue an apology to Cameron.
Cele was pressed by Cameron on the police’s failures to protect the local community when he got hot under the collar and lost his temper in a clip that will follow him for the rest of his political career. Cameron was told to ‘sit down and listen’ and ‘shut up’ and was then forcibly removed from the venue for refusing to stand down and be intimidated.
“Nothing has changed since that day, in fact, more people are dying. An apology without action will always be empty. The SAPS needs to be restructured and rebuilt. Cele needs to be the first to go.”