|Minister Bheki Cele is now hiding behind racism claims to cover his own failure ̶ and that of the South African Police Services (SAPS) ̶ to fulfil their constitutional responsibility to protect South Africans. This follows his visit this past weekend to Phoenix and other communities in KwaZulu-Natal, that have been adversely affected by violent looting
During the violent riots the country witnessed this past week, the SAPS displayed their inability to plan, coordinate and act on intelligence provided by the Minister of Intelligence.
“SAPS received warnings, but they were unable to immediately act on the information. It’s just another repeat of the same issues we see when the SAPS try to tackle violent crime and especially gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa. Cele’s racism claims are only an attempt to hide his inability to protect the citizens of the country,” says Dr Rineé Pretorius, spokesperson for Action Society.
According to Action Society, they are not surprised about the way the minister has been handling the issue of violent and unlawful riots. “Lack of leadership and accountability from Bheki Cele is nothing new. In his two-year reign he has utterly and completely failed to fulfil his mandate as minister of police. Therefore, now more than ever, we call for the resignation of Bheki Cele,” Pretorius continues.
On top of the dismal handling of the riots, there is also the issue of 1.2 million rounds of ammunition that was reportedly looted from a shipping yard in Kwa Zulu Natal, which was said to have been under the control of the police when it went missing. This stolen ammunition adds to the almost 9.5 million rounds of ammunition that have been lost by the SAPS in the past few years. The institution that is supposed to protect citizens seems to be making our country less safe, as this ammunition will find its’ way into the hands of violent criminals and pose yet another threat to the safety and security of South Africans. Cele is denying that the police had any responsibility and the matter is now being investigated by the Hawks.
Action Society calls on all South Africans to join their community safety structures to protect themselves. “If the state is not going to protect us we will need to it ourselves. We will need to mobilise and organise ourselves to protect ourselves, our families, women, children, community and property. If not us, who will?” concludes Pretorius.